Many thanks Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee for recently issuing a proclamation declaring Oct. 10 as a voluntary “Day of Prayer, Humility, and Fasting.”
When I first heard of the governor’s proclamation I was reminded of one of our most intelligent and enlightened founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin and his address delivered to the Constitution Convention on June 28, 1787 in Philadelphia, PA.
Franklin, reportedly was one of the “least religious” among our country’s founding fathers. During the deliberations tempers flared and interests clashed as the delegates sought their respective goals.
It was during troubled discussions that the elder statesman, Benjamin Franklin, offered his famous appeal for harmony and conciliation,”an appeal for God’s intervention.”
“I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that Godgoverns in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall be become a reproach and a bye word down to future age. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human Wisdom, and leave it to chance, war, and conquest.
I therefore beg leave to move — that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that service.”
“Everywhere that Maria and I travel across this great state we’ve met with countless number of people that come up to me and say, ‘Governor, we’re praying for you and for Maria and for your family’,” the governor said in a video posted on Twitter.
I was pleased that just two weeks ago Governor Bill Lee and his staff asked to visit our great community of Smyrna and Rutherford County.
He personally wanted to assist with the grants and meet local business leaders, citizens, students, and elected officials. I was pleased to have the opportunity to introduce him and I thought of what would be the best approach.
I pondered a few scriptures that I thought would be appropriate for the important occasion. I then thought of the $75,000 grant for the Smyrna Rotary Club’s all-inclusive playground and then the $10,000 grant for the Smyrna/La Vergne Nourish Food Bank and how both grants will help many who cannot help themselves and those who are poor and having a difficult time putting food on the table. I then was reminded of the scripture in Matthew 25:35-40, For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
The two grants that were presented were not only historic, but exemplifies what Jesus was instructing his disciples to do in the scripture in Matthew.
In the often dark world we live in which can be full of divisiveness, it is very refreshing to see our governor who truly has a heart for ‘We The People” and “the least of these.” Remember just last year during election he didn’t go negative, although a few of his opponents did. He chose to take the high road. Many of us should take notice and learn from his example.
Gov. Lee keep up the “Good Work,” Tennessee is very proud of you and Maria.
Mike Sparks serves in the Tennessee General Assembly representing the 49th House District which includes areas of Smyrna, La Vergne, Almaville and north Murfreesboro. Rep. Sparks is Chairman of the House Consumer and Human Resource Committee, serves on the Property & Casualty Sub Committee, Naming Designating & Private Acts Committee. Sparks has served on the Rutherford County Commission for 8 years, served on the Smyrna Municipal Planning Committee for 9 years. Sparks is married to Felicia of 30 years and they have two sons, Preston and Payton.