Last Week was our state's Homeschool Convention. While in the Capitol City of Indianapolis, Kurt and I took a small detour one afternoon to see one of the buildings downtown. In case you're wondering, yes, we did go to see the giant NCAA bracket on the side of the JW Marriott hotel.
The curious thing is, even though the hotel is fairly new, it is nestled in between several historic sites, including being caddy-corner from our Statehouse, which is the fourth Statehouse in Indiana's history. The current Statehouse was built in 1888. The original capitol of Indiana, founded in 1816, was Corydon, but in 1821, Indianapolis was platted and construction of a new state capitol, in the middle of the state, by the banks of the White River, began. By 1825, only nine years after Indiana officially became a state, the capitol was moved to Indianapolis.
I've been to the Statehouse a few time over the years, I've lived my whole life in central Indiana, yet I noticed something this time I had not seen before. Something that made me thankful. On the south side of the Statehouse there resides a historical plaque that recounts part of Abraham Lincoln's address as he travelled through Indianapolis in February of 1861 on his way to assume the Presidency. Regardless of your viewpoint on Lincoln's involvement in the Civil War, or the War Between the States, depending on where you were raised, his words are still true today.
"I appeal to you to constantly bear in mind that not with Politicians, not with Presidents, not with Office Seekers, but with you is the question: Shall the Union and shall the liberties of this Country be preserved to the latest generation."
As I had just spent two long days contemplating what to teach, and how to teach it, to our girls for the rest of their High School years, this thought made me pause and reflect. In case you haven't heard, our state is in the spotlight for a recently passed law that echoes a Federal law guaranteeing the free exercise of religion, as the US Constitution guarantees in the First amendment "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,..."
I was pausing to be reminded that the free exercise of my religion (my relationship with Jesus Christ) could not be dictated by the State or Federal government. I am thankful to live in a land where I can worship God freely. Yet, more importantly, I was thankful to be reminded that even if the laws of our State or Nation are someday changed, the liberty to worship is actually a God-Given right, not a government-given right.
I was thankful for a historic plaque. A plaque whose original intent was probably to mark an event that immediately preceded the Civil War, but whose purpose that day was to remind me of Christ. In my past, I had been a slave to sin, but Christ freed me. This one plaque, set in a chunk of Indiana limestone, was a reminder not only of our State's past and future, but of my own past and future.
Look around you, God places reminders all around us, to point us to HIS plans for our future!