In this our last day of President’s Week, we celebrate the birthday of America’s first President, George Washington. In looking through some anecdotes about his life it appears that he was a man of prayer, for he was often found carry out a practice familiar to Jesus, having removed himself apart from company that he might have a few moments alone on his knees before God.
Once when Washington was staying overnight at the home of one of his colonels, he woke up in the night to find Primus, the black servant at the home, sitting up with no place to lie down. After insisting that there was enough straw and blanket for the both of them, he finally persuaded (ordered) the servant, after repeated refusals to do so, to lie down next to him under the same blanket. Even a small, insignificant gesture such as this lends credibility to his later calls, as the leader of the fledgling democracy, to observe justice. Kind of lends new meaning to the “George Washington slept here” phrase. George Washington slept here (and so did Primus).
In his farewell address at the end of his second term as President, Washington gave a charge that could well be heeded today by many who are putting their own agendas over that of others and causing great divide in the country. America is not the same as the kingdom of God, but it was founded by those with keen, open minds and big hearts, and many of them, like Washington, were people of prayer. We need to pay heed to this advice today and herald the diversity of our founding fathers along with their faith. Whatever country you belong to, these are words of truth.
“Beware of attacks upon the Constitution. Beware of those who think more of their party than of their country. Promote education. Observe justice. Treat with good faith all nations. Adhere to the right. Be united — be united. Love your country.”