During the American Revolution, at a time when victory was bleak and uncertain, Thomas Paine wrote a series of inspiring documents to help bolster the cause.
This series is entitled: The American Crisis, by Thomas Paine.
George Washington, commander of the Continental Army, was so inspired by the text that he ordered it to be read to the soldiers at Valley Forge.
Here is my favorite quote and what I would like to talk about in this email today:
“These are the times that try men's souls; the summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
There are few words of text that I find more powerful than these words written by Thomas Paine, and it saved the American Revolution and the cause of freedom.
How This Relates to Us Today
There is now doubt that we find ourselves in times that are “trying our souls.”
It feels like the world is in complete chaos and that we are getting hit from every angle:
Inflation, unemployment, droughts, fires, riots, division, a virus, an assault on the family unit, depression, and an all-out attack on Freedom.
While Thomas Paine was referencing the fight for Independence in his essays, the context is applicable to us today.
The “summer soldier and the sunshine patriot” he referenced are those who only supported the American Revolution when it was easy.
As he continues in his essay he says that something as important as Freedom was not going to come easy.
And that that Freedom is a gift from God, and because He is the Perfect Giver of Gifts, He knows the value of that Freedom.
For that reason, Freedom didn’t come easy for them and it won’t be maintained easily for us.
But the battle goes much deeper than just that.
The adversary is making an all-out attack on individuals, families, and communities.
Those who want to see righteousness and truth defeated know they must attack the very basis of our society – which is you and I, and our families.
Here are a few things I think we need to focus on in light of what was referenced above.
Turn to God
I believe we need accountability and inspiration as our basis, and God should be our source for both.
I understand that this 1911 Apparel community is diverse, and who you personally worship is up to you.
But I do believe strongly, from the road I have traveled in life, that I personally need inspiration and guidance from a Supreme Being – and for me I believe that to be God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
Wherever you get your inspiration, I urge you to make it a priority.
Take time every day to study and ponder the truths that He is teaching and implement that in your life.
If you are not doing it, please start today.
Just as our founders relied heavily upon Heaven’s guidance, we also depend upon that.
Build Your Families
The family unit is sacred and is the foundation upon which we build society.
A strong family unit provides the necessary strength our communities desperately need.
The family unit includes the individual.
Our focus daily should be strengthening ourselves first and then using that to build our families.
With my family I like to focus on: health and exercise, financial preparedness, teaching children important truths, spiritual study and worship, and building harmony.
Every family is different and has their own set of difficulties – which means the answer for you is going to be different than for me.
Look at your situation and find ways to strengthen your family and those close to you.
I sincerely believe that with the struggles that are coming our way, we need to have our homes in order.
Build Your Neighborhood
I am fortunate enough to live in a community that has close relationships.
But even with that being the case, there are neighbors that are close to me that I either don’t know or have very little contact with.
I believe we should each be as proactive as possible getting to know our neighbors and strengthening those relationships.
There is great value in being a pillar of strength for those around you.
It’s easy to get caught in the mindset that things are going well and that we don’t rely on others around us, but it’s important to realize that it may not be the case for those around us.
There are many hidden struggles that we cannot see form the surface, but as we go deeper, we can better understand the needs of others.
There are few things more rewarding than being a strength for and helping lift others.
This is an absolutely vital step for building strong communities.
I believe taking the time to build those around you will be a blessing that will help strengthen your community and yourselves.
This is an area of I have neglected a bit but am determined to do better.
I have especially felt the call to action as I have become increasingly concerned about curriculum being taught in our schools.
There are so many issues that our communities are facing, and we need individuals who are rooted in truth to be integral in shaping those policies.
We see activism everywhere, and this is something that I have seen some patriots struggle with.
We get busy with work, businesses, families, and forget to get involved – at least this is true for me.
But we cannot afford to let this be the case.
We all have great value to add, and a love for our communities and country; so, we cannot leave it to someone else to shape the policy for something we hold so dear.
I am personally getting more involved in the school board and city council meetings, and would encourage you to do the same.
As Thomas Paine so eloquently wrote, there is no doubt that these are also “the times that try men’s souls.”
We cannot afford to be causal – or as he stated, we must not be a “sunshine soldier or summer patriot.”
Our families, community, and country need patriots rooted in truth to stand as a beacon for good.
To do so, we must turn to God, build ourselves and our families, care for our neighbors and community, and get involved.
The way that we further appreciate and esteem highly the Freedom and blessings we have as a country, is by being engaged in building truth and goodness around us – and it won’t be easy.
I believe as we turn to God, He will help us find the unity, truth, freedom, and healing we so desperately need as a country.
But it starts with building ourselves on His foundation and then strengthening those around us.
Thank you for reading,
Founder of Freedom Elements