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Several months ago, I wrote about a profound blessing I experienced: I chose a Hebrew name, since I couldn’t remember the Hebrew name I was given as a child. (This method is acceptable under Jewish law.) At the suggestion of a friend, I chose the name of a woman I admired, Ruth, from the Bible, who was a convert to Judaism, and through circumstances, left the land of Moab to accompany her mother-in-law back to the land of Judah. I’ve always been in awe of her generosity and commitment, and am honored to carry her name.
But today I realized that Ruth also demonstrated a willingness to make sacrifices, too. When she traveled with Naomi back to Judah, both women were widows and they would be two women traveling alone. But Ruth was also leaving Moab, the land of her birth. When she left, she knew she was leaving her sister and her family behind. In those days, she likely realized that she would never see them again. She would also be leaving the familiarity of her environs, and would be going to a foreign land. In those days, even though they would probably be connecting to Naomi’s relatives, they were two women alone without plans. Ruth’s choice was indeed honorable: to choose to be with her mother-in-law and to practice her new faith, regardless of what might lie ahead.
She was also sacrificing much.
Now many of us have done our share of moving, of leaving friends and families behind. But in these times, with modern technology and communications, most of the people in our lives are only a telephone call, a plane trip, or an email away. For the most part, families and friends can stay in touch. We rarely are called to leave them forever.
* * *
As I look at how our country is changing, I’m beginning to realize that these times may also call for much, much more from us than we would ordinarily consider. We have already seen our rights degraded, our liberties infringed upon, our beliefs ridiculed or condemned, our allegiances being questioned. Leftist organizations and the government, sometimes subtly, at other times blatantly, expect us to comply with lockdowns, masks, and vaccines. Our speech is being censored. Our children are being propagandized. Our country is being demeaned and criticized.
The question occurred to me: where is my personal red line when it comes to my life being restricted by government bureaucrats? I can’t even imagine strategies implemented that would be so offensive or limiting that I would have to take action. Not only that, what actions would I be willing to take? How much or what would I be willing to give up? Would I be willing to risk my reputation? My friendships? My life?
I can’t help thinking of Germany in the 1930s when many people couldn’t imagine the future that awaited them. But some anticipated the danger that was just ahead and left the country when they could.
Is it premature to be thinking about the future and my response to tyranny? Or do I have a responsibility to assess my life at this time, look forward and consider what I might feel called to do?
Are these questions you have ever asked yourself?
[photo by Max Langelott at unsplash.com]Published in