Herding cats

Published 5:16 pm Tuesday, June 28, 2016

You’ve heard the phrase “herding cats.” It means trying to organize something that is almost impossible. Can you imagine having two or three dozen cats and trying to lead them or drive them into one direction?

Herding cats came to my mind as I was thinking of the original task of organizing these United States of America. Our founders must have been amazing men and women.

They were overwhelmingly European and were not too long removed from that fractious continent.

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I say fractious because the continent of Europe was divided into various monarchies, federations, ethnic enclaves, religious states, and, honestly, were a group of cats. Each of them had their own sets of laws, religions, and cultures. There was not even the thought of herding all those cats into one united organization of states.

Most of our colonists were first, second, or third generation European cats. Naturally, they brought with them their ethnicities, their cultural ideas, and their religions. They settled up and down the eastern seaboard of the North American continent and began to eke out their livings. Those livings were probably based upon what they remembered and what they brought with them from the “old world.”

Where those colonists got the idea of uniting all the various states of this new continent, I’ll never know. Except, that the hand of God seemed to be quite evident.

For instance in the document that we celebrate in just a few days, the Declaration of Independence, there are many references to Nature’s God, the Creator, divine Providence, and the Supreme Judge of the world, to name four.

With all of those references to God, it is stunning, to me, that current thought suggests that our country was not founded on the precepts of the Almighty. If there has ever been a Godly experiment in the formation of a nation, the United States of America is at least one great example.

We are not a perfect nation, not now or in the past. We have made our mistakes and continue to pay dearly for those mistakes. But, God’s presence in the history of our nation is very evident to me. As I continue with my theme of herding cats, there is no way 13 original cats would have sought unification under a Constitution except by the grace of Almighty God. Plus, it would have been impossible without God.

At this time, it seems that our country is devolving into a bunch of cats reverting to acting just like real cats and moving away from a supernatural desire to rise above all the divisions that would separate us.

We’re no longer Americans, but we have become hyphenated Americans. Every ethnic group seems to preface their belonging to this country with their ancestry’s name. We’re African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, Italian-Americans, or Native Americans; no longer simply Americans.

We’re white, black, brown, or some variation of another color. Sexual orientation has become more important than Americanization. Some lives matter, but others don’t. The South thinks differently from the North or West. Some faiths are good. Others are not.

It’s been 240 years since the United States proclaimed its freedom from an old way of looking at things. There have been wars and rumors of wars for many of those years. The country has survived but the fuel for that survival has been the willingness of the people to call themselves simply Americans and to come together in the defense of that freedom.

In the past we’ve been pretty good at herding cats. We’ve been blessed by God to have great cat-herders. Is there another one out there?