A Night to Remember

August 13, 2011

Who goes to a conference in a Maryland suburb of Washington D.C. without going into the city?

Not this nerd!

Last night after the evening session at Worship God Conference, my wingman Taylor and I jumped into our rental car and made a beeline to downtown D.C. We have no specific plans and only one simple goal – get a picture in front of the White House.

Because it was fairly late on a weeknight, the bustle of the Beltway had died down. We easily parked on Constitution Ave right between the White House and the Washington Monument. In only a few minutes we had accomplished our one goal. Memories of my past interest in pursuing politics filled my mind as we walked around the building. (Side note – it is pretty ridiculous that I think more of the fictional characters from The West Wing than any real political figures. I get excited when I see a gate because I think I have seen Josh Lyman walk out of it before.)

As we moved on and walked around the National Mall, I was struck how everything else we saw was built in order to remember something. We walked past the towering figure of the Washington Monument, which commemorates our first President. Heading West we passed the World War II Memorial on our way to the Lincoln Memorial which sits right next to the Vietnam Memorial.

All these memorials served their purpose last night because they caused me to remember some important things. The freedoms and privileges I enjoy in America the Present were secured in America the Past. Countless soldiers have given their lives to make this nation what it is. Presidents like Washington and Lincoln did not lead from a safe ivory tower, they made hard (but good) decisions even in the face of danger and opposition. I am foolish to enjoy the present without remembering the past.

The same is true of the church and even worship. Yesterday morning, a professor for Sovereign Grace’s Pastor’s College shared the story of Guido de Bres. Author of the Belgian Confession, de Bres was eventually captured and hung for his Protestant faith. The truths I get to sing out were protected and proclaimed by countless men and women who were willing to give their lives for it. As Bob Kauflin summed up, “What we sing about is a matter of life and death.”

I cannot walk around Washington D.C. without remembering all the sacrifice that has gone into making this nation great. I should not be able to pick songs for a weekend without remembering all the sacrifice that went into defending these holy truths.

Last night really was a night to remember.


One Response to “A Night to Remember”

  1. Austen D. said

    Ben, nice post. I loved your comments about West Wing characters. I think of them all the time too. Sometimes I forget that they didn’t actually work there… 🙂

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