Imagine this…it’s four hundred years ago…you and your family live in a community, somewhere in Europe. Your neighbors help define the essence of the community for the consensus amongst the people is to have the freedom to operate under a new system of commerce. There is also the desire to have new models for public education for the children. As well, the ability to pursue new practical methods in medicine and treating those with illness. Observing one’s religious preferences is of high priority.
This is four hundred years ago. There are no chainsaws, no electric drills, no GPS systems and no five/seven/ten day weather forecasts. There is however the will to power.
A courageous decision is made amongst neighbors – more so – kindred spirits.
The trees are knocked down by axe. Saws to cut the wood. Hammers and nails to continue with the assembly. A great big strong ship is being constructed.
A fair and equitable trade is made. Livestock, crops, gold – in order to recruit a captain and his crew to lead the vessel across the Atlantic Ocean.
All loose ends are tied up. Sales of land, livestock, crops, tools, clothing, etc – most all earthly possessions that will not be appropriate to bring onboard the ship- these possessions are traded for ones that would be appropriate to bring upon the ship. As well as for those that would be needed to carve out your own piece of land upon arrival in the “New World.”
It is now the right time of the year to undertake the journey across the ocean; indicated by the captain.
The voyage officially begins. Traversing across the massive expanse that is the Atlantic Ocean and all of the erratic conditions thrown into the mix by Nature.
Lightning. Winds. Winds with such force that may compromise the viability of the ship. Storms. Tremendous rain storms coupled with the winds. Waves. Patterns of ocean waves that are relentless, the waves rock the ship – fear of the unknown is real. What fate may await myself, my family, my brethren that are on this journey?
Things work out. Appropriately, the captain and crew had the experience already under their belts – these storms were par for the course. A day or two may have been lost – nonetheless, the journey is at its twilight. The proof is the ever increasing visibility of land that is directly in front of the path of the ship.
The ship touches down upon the land. And the crew is able to tether the ship to the land. Your kindred spirits, one step at a time, are touching down upon the new land. “The New World” is no longer a place as distant as the stars in the sky: it is the very land beneath your feet.
Now begins the work. The realization of kindred spirits ambitions that motivated this journey are now the only priority.
Clearing the land of vegetation in order to construct houses, barns, churches, shops, hospitals, schools. Interactions with the natives can be bloody battles – laying claim to your piece of land has a price. The survival of the fittest – this phrase becomes a true reflection of the natural order of the universe. The determination of yourself and your brethren will not be overcome by anything. The only outcome for all of you is victory. By any means necessary. And ultimately victory is yours.
Alot of work is underway. Routes for horses and for chariots and wagons are being etched into the vastness of the land. Underway is the building of schools, churches, marketplaces, water sanitization sites. Irrigation is underway, to provide water to the newly cleared farmlands for crops to grow.
It is real. How do you know?
You know it’s real when you stand outside your home on a beautiful, clear summer night. You hold your wife’s hand and both of you smile as you see your children playing right in front of you – on your yard.
It is such a nice night. And both to the left and the right of you, your neighbors, your kindred spirits, your brethren – those that were willing to leave comfort behind and endure the journey which never had any guarantee of success. Nor survival. None of this was surefire.
Your neighbors all converge on a corner of the front yard. Men and women embrace – hugs are just a way to show the love, admiration, respect and responsibility you all feel for each other. And the lot of you, take a look up into the clear, wide open sky and see the magnificent stars above. It is a symbolic moment, realizing that the undertaking you all have made – the possibilities for growth of a good, healthy and strong community is yours and yours alone – as it is the collective of kindred spirits that made this New World a new reality. Nothing is going to get in your way. This is the promised land.
Suddenly, a group of three men, dressed in black kaftans and small hats, approach the group of you on the corner of your yard. Something is off about these three men. To say they are making you uncomfortable is a vast understatement.
Who are these men, where did they come from and what do they want from us? Your thoughts in your head indeed is a well placed use of skepticism. For your neighbor, utters those words exactly, to the three men:
“State your business here! Who are you people and what do you want?”
And they reply:
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