All Roads Lead to Rome.

Everyone has heard this phrase. Where does it come from? It was first expressed by a French poet from 1175 AD who wrote in Latin, “Mille viae ducunt hominem per saecula Romam,” which means “a thousand roads lead a man forever toward Rome.” In other words, Rome as the capital city of a great empire influenced the  education, the trade, the art, the language, the military, and the politics of an entire European continent and beyond. No matter where you went, you experienced Rome. Rome was the epitome of all that was great.
We know that America has impacted the world just as Rome once did. America has been the epitome of greatness, too. Here’s a quick story of how my husband Sybren and I experienced its influence in a surprising place.
When we visited Czechoslovakia in 1984, it was still a Soviet satellite nation, behind “the iron curtain” as we called it. Our first night in Prague, the nation’s capital, Sybren’s Dutch cousin Enno took us to a small bar. It was in the old part of downtown on a cobblestone street. It was in an old old imposing three-story building that housed other businesses and offices. On the face of it was a relief sculpture of Mozart. Enno explained that Mozart had once performed in that building and a later artist added the emblem to commemorate that occasion.
When we entered the bar, it was dark and small, but it was not scary because we heard the music of an all too familiar American voice. It was a recording of Bob Dylan playing “All Along the Watchtower.” Who would have thought we would travel into the Soviet “empire,” go to a building where Mozart once performed and hear an American Rock n’ Roll artist in this Communist country? All roads of culture led to America, even from Czechoslovakia.
 We were also there on Pentecost Sunday at St. Vitus Cathedral, the church upon a hill that dominated the city’s landscape. We were impressed to learn that it took over 1200 years to build. It wasn’t considered done until the 20th century. We watched twenty busloads of Russians arrive that morning to worship with fellow Czechs. So many people appeared that they not only filled the Church, but they surrounded the entire Cathedral in a ring of ten to fifteen people thick. They all sang. We’ll never forget the sound of music of 1000s of Christians singing mightily for their religious freedom in this Communist country.
Today, all roads do not lead to Rome or to America. It seems our modern 21st century roads have confused the travelers of life. As Dylan sings, “There is too much confusion.” Searching for meaning, we find so many roadblocks on our journey. Sadly, many of us do not know where we are headed. We question whether there is a true course, a true way of life. For those who believe in truth, it is hard to find. For those of us who find it, we are afraid to defend it.
What is the cause of this confusion?
Cultural Marxism pits groups against one another. It isolates people by race, by class, by skin color. It counts religion as a threat. One of its goals is to destroy the traditional family and the traditional education system. And we see its effects even in our own state.
It’s time to put a stop to this nonsense.
But how?
Read Isaiah 21. Station watchmen all along the tower. ‘Rise up, captains…Go, station the lookout, let him report what he sees.” (Yes, Bob Dylan was influenced by this passage.)
Read Psalm 37.
“Do not fret because of evildoers…for they will wither quickly like the grass and fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
John Quincy Adams, our sixth President, loved this Psalm. He wrote, “I was much struck with its excellent and profound morality.” Then he continued, “There is not indeed in the Psalm any recurrence to the rewards and punishments of another life, and it leaves the argument entirely open for the sublime improvement of the Christian doctrine…for it is to be observed that one of its promises of blessedness (to the meek, for they shall inherit the earth) is expressly quoted and repeated by our Savior in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:5).
When we take Isaiah’s vision from the Lord to station watchmen along the tower, or as Sybren would simply say, “Pay attention,” we know that these times are dangerous and confusing. In the Old Testament, Isaiah was prophesying the fall of Babylon. While the America I love is not Babylon, Marxist ideology is rampant in our culture, especially in our schools, and its messing up our roads that should lead to greatness.
So, we must be alert, but we must not fret. Do good. Trust in the Lord and obey his teachings. If we combine Psalm 37 with Jesus’s teachings, this takes us to a new and beautiful level of spiritual maturity. Marxism withers like grass. To rephrase Dylan, “There is a way outta here. Let’s not talk falsely now. The hour is getting late.”
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