Well, what if you are?
That thought requires some follow-up questions.
ca. 1876 B.C.
What if Joseph wallowed in self-pity for his horrible circumstances, failing to see a bigger plan for his life?
ca. 1440 B.C.
What if Moses never opposed Pharaoh, who wielded the power to have him executed for defiance?
ca. 1400 B.C.
What if Caleb and Joshua cowered before giants and refused to enter the Promised Land, as their contemporaries did forty years before?
ca. 1160 B.C.
What if Gideon didn’t trust that God could win his battles with only 300 men, a far inferior force than that of his enemies?
ca. 985 B.C.
What if David went along with Saul’s army in fearing Goliath, and refused to do battle with the enemy champion who was profaning God and taunting his countrymen?
ca. 480 B.C.
What if Esther chose the comfort of royalty, instead of risking death to save a people from genocide?
ca. 445 B.C.
What if Nehemiah listened to his tormenters, and refused to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and usher in the return of the exiles?
ca. 30 A.D.
What if Christ turned away from the cross, calling down legions of angels to deliver himself from injustice and suffering?
ca. 35 A.D.
What if the 12 disciples, facing certain persecution and martyrdom, refused to spread the Gospel to those who formed the early Christian church?
ca. 55 A.D.
What if the Apostle Paul, fleeing persistent Roman persecution, embraced his status and privilege as a member of an elite society instead of taking his messages to the far reaches of the modern world?
What if the Barons of England feared King John so badly they never marched to confront him and push him to sign the Magna Carta?
What if William Wallace turned a blind eye to the atrocities committed against his people by King Edward the Longshanks, opting to live a life of reclusiveness in the solitude of Scotland?
What if Columbus feared the sea and its darkness, and believed the sailor tales that inspired fear in the navigators of his day?
What if nine pastors in Magdeburg, Germany, refused to stand their ground and empower subordinate leadership to resist top-down tyranny, and we never received The Doctrine of the Lesser Magistrates?
What if the original Jamestown settlers surrendered to the deadly winters plagued by disease, and returned home to England?
What if those who boarded the Mayflower and settled in New England were content to be stifled in their pursuit of religious freedom, and stayed put in England?
What if the English Parliamentarians consented to Absolute Rule, and the Age of Enlightenment, which ushered in much of the primary thought behind the U.S. Constitution and America’s founding documents, never began?
What if America’s Founding Fathers decided they were comfortable enough and didn’t mind the occasional use of excessive military force or excessive taxation, and decided they didn’t want to offend their more “moderate” counterparts in the colonies?
What if Washington’s Army bought into the conventional wisdom that they were outmanned, outgunned, and surrounded by a superior force, and laid down their arms after a brutal winter?
What if Andrew Jackson, just a young boy at the time, fell to his knees to shine the boots of the British officer who slashed his face with a saber for refusing to oblige him?
What if the framers of the Constitution, faced with constant struggle in crafting the longest standing Constitution of all-time, gave up and left the world without a blueprint for liberty and restraint of power?
What if Lewis and Clark viewed the mission through the newly acquired Louisiana Territory and the Oregon Country as too formidable, and never explored what became of the Western United States out of fear of losing their lives in the wilderness?
What if the defenders of the Alamo laid down their swords and guns in the face of an insurmountable attacking force, and killed off the morale of the remaining Texian Army, given that they were likely to be executed just as the defenders of Goliad were?
What if, after a bloody Civil War, two beaten and broken brotherly factions refused to reunify and pick up the pieces, choosing instead to follow the path of least resistance?
What if the Wright Brothers recognized that a flying machine could very possibly crash and result in a fiery death, and failed to pioneer manned aviation?
What if, in the face of an impenetrable defensive force armed to the teeth with anti-aircraft artillery, the D-Day invasion planners folded their maps and left things up to the overwhelmed Allied forces in Europe to stop the Nazi war machine?
What if Bonhoeffer’s convictions were good for words only, and he committed to silence against Hitler’s atrocities when confronted by the Gestapo?
What if the Tank Man in Tiananmen Square didn’t want to stand alone in demonstration against tyranny, since so few of his countrymen were willing to go beyond mere words in their opposition to it?
What if pro-freedom Romanians allowed Ceausescu to continue his persecution of churches, and failed to rally to the defense of their persecuted countrymen?
These questions should demonstrate to the reader that nothing meaningful in the worldwide, historical defense of rights and liberties has ever been achieved without risk of grave, earthly consequences to the resisting party. In many cases, even historic achievements unrelated to the fight for freedom require grave risk, such as the flight of the Wright Brothers, or in the cases of those who navigated by sea across previously uncrossed and unknown boundary lines.
If you won’t stand up today to injustice or tyranny, while you have the means to stage some form of resistance, you won’t stand up tomorrow, either. You will either be too conditioned by reluctance, or unable to resist because you’ve been maneuvered to a position in which you simply cannot resist for lack of access, resources, or necessary cooperation.
I will take it one step further. There is no true living of this life without some degree of risk.
What if you go to the gym and have a heart attack?
What if you drive to a theater and are involved in an accident?
What if you go for a hike and fall down a rocky slope?
What if you swim in the ocean and are sucked into a dangerous current?
What if you travel to a foreign land and are pursued by hostile locals?
One can prevent all the previous scenarios by simply not exercising, seeking entertainment, hiking, swimming, or travelling to a place they’ve longed to see. But at what cost? At the cost of living.
I have plenty of human fears, but my greatest is fear is of having lived a “life” less lived. Truly, nothing meaningful or worth fighting for in all human history has been obtained free of risk. Prior to the advent of modern medicine, even the act of childbirth could be deadly. That didn’t prevent women throughout the ages from bringing their beloved children into the world, with birth rates far surpassing those seen today. The modern-day fear of harm makes me want to vomit, especially when I see Americans giving away their rights for a false sense of security over a man-made virus, which has so negatively impacted the course of world history it cannot yet be quantified and may not be quantifiable for a hundred years.
President Trump has asked for the people to protest in the event of his indictment and arrest. This has led many to ponder if this opens the door for another January 6 setup, with many soon to be minted political prisoners waiting in the wings. Our founders guaranteed the right of the people to peacefully protest in the Bill of Rights, and though they probably never expected the country to get off the rails to the degree that it has, would certainly expect the children of a liberty-loving nation to exhaust all options available to defend their rights.
Not everyone will amass a massive social media following, become a “public figure,” become networked with prominent national figures, travel extensively, or have money at their disposal, but everyone who supports this movement has time and talent to give, in arts, culture, language, written word, time spent seeking redress of grievances, writing letters to the editor, donating to just causes, buying billboards and advertising, changing minds, hosting home freedom groups, or seeking to change a mind a day in any way possible. In some countries, all those things may require substantial risk of cancellation, retaliation, and harm. Those things are coming to America and, in many ways, are already here. I know patriots who once enjoyed normal professional and social lives that have been derailed for the simple act of speaking up against corruption. There is no guarantee on this side of eternity that the things they’ve lost will come back, but those individuals will never look in the mirror at the end of their days and wonder if they could have done more to defend freedom.
Freedom is not the norm throughout the ages. Tyranny is. Americans today live in an aberration in history – a time full of financial prosperity, in which even the poorest among us consider how frequently they should upgrade smart phones, a time of unparalleled relative peace, and a time in which people can still speak up, at least in America, without likelihood of major retaliation. You will reach a time in which you must decide which side you are on – the side of action, or the side of inaction.
We have plenty of influencers. We need more soldiers in this Army, soldiers who find the spot in the line that is open and vulnerable long before they consider the cost associated with “what if?” If you’re worried about speaking out or standing up today, where will you stand when you are asked by rulers to act as an informant on someone violating a social credit system, defying an unjust “quarantine,” or speaking out against corrupt magistrates?
Nothing in the entire history of man that is worth remembering has come free of risk. We should not expect to rescue the modern world from the throes of tyranny without likewise being subject to the same jeopardies our forefathers were, but posterity will look back at those who stood and remember their example for the coming fights to preserve rights and liberties.
Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present Generation, to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good Use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.
This is Leadership at its finest. Soul stirring stuff right here. Thank you Sir. I’m proud to be a supporter.
What if - the situations in this brilliant article - were read into the Congressional Record?
What if our countrymen exercised faith over fear?
Thankfully, there are a few individuals who act in faith, boldly.