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Are we there yet?

Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2016 | Alphonso Ashworth | Politics

These four words have caused more drivers to grit their teeth more than any others in modern transportation history. Parents have threatened acts of war over them. And as for you backseat drivers — beware.

We borderline and post-World War II baby boomers share a common bond with this phrase. It plays a familiar ring for us all.

If I wanted to end a road trip or dodge a backhand from my mother with laser-like precision, all I had to do was ask, “Are we there yet?” more than twice in a five minute period.

For most Americans, though, the question has a more philosophical meaning. In terms of race relations, equal justice, opportunity for all, and a secure future, it depends on whom you ask. Many black Americans believe they have been kicked to the curb by a driver who does not seem to share their pain. Stranded, they are left behind to hitchhike as other groups pass them by. White millennials feel the pressure to do better than previous generations. But that is hard to do when they are living in their parents’ basements with few prospects and in no hurry to move out. No wonder socialism seems a better alternative to what their grandparents experienced.

For the “greatest generation,” the answer to this conundrum was for young men and women to pay the ultimate sacrifice. Many are buried under foreign soil, never to return to the land they gave everything to defend.

Every generation defines its own journey. This generation uses Google as a map to try and chart a different course. Collectively, we must check the freedoms gauge and ask, “How long do we have to get where we are going?”

About the time our original 13 states adopted their new Constitution in 1787, Alexander Tyler, a Scottish history professor at the University of Edinburgh, had this to say about the fall of the Athenian Republic some 2,000 years earlier:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury.

From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.

The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations from the beginning of history, has been about 200 years. During those 200 years, those nations always progressed through the following sequence:

(1) From bondage to spiritual faith;
(2) From spiritual faith to great courage;
(3) From courage to liberty;
(4) From liberty to abundance;
(5) From abundance to complacency;
(6) From complacency to apathy;
(7) From apathy to dependence;
(8) From dependence back into bondage.

 

So, where are we? My guess, and maybe the guess of others from my generation, is somewhere between numbers 6 and 7. Or are we as the children of Israel in the book of Joshua, wandering in the wilderness and waiting for God to show us the way to … there?

For Christians, “are we there yet” means one place: In the presence of God. In His glory and under His divine authority. No matter what signs you read while traveling life’s busy highway, your destination is defined clearly in Matthew 7:

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

The only map that can get you there can be found but in one book: The Holy Bible. Are you there yet?