David W. Hegg: America’s strength lies in sacrifice

By David W. Hegg

Last update: Friday, November 11th, 2016

On the heels of one of the most dramatic presidential elections in recent memory, the pundits have had a field day dissecting what happened, what worked, and what went wrong.

For many, the stunning Trump victory calls us to reflect on just what makes America tick. Who are we? If we dig down to the foundation of our national soul, what do we find?

There are certainly many right answers, but I’ll offer two of them here.

This week my wife and I took a breather day and went to Disneyland. Just the two of us. The day offered perfect weather, great food, lots of coffee, and time to enjoy them all.

Even standing in line was enjoyable as we retreated from the noise of the election campaigns.

But mostly the day was filled with families. Everywhere we looked there were dads and moms pushing strollers, carrying infants, juggling popcorn, jackets and backpacks. They were everywhere.

The park seemed to be filled with little legs, joyful laughter, squeals and the smiles brought about by daddy and mommy hugs.

As I surveyed the scene from my chair, sipping my Starbucks, I felt light-hearted for the first time in a while. There, playing out before my eyes, was the vibrancy of the American soul.

I loved seeing fathers holding their daughters’ hands, lifting them to their shoulders, and even trying out a dance step or two as the Newsboys came singing their way down the street.

But my greatest admiration is reserved for the mothers who bravely brought a whole gaggle of kids by themselves, maneuvering strollers like armored personnel carriers while deftly shooing their laughing herd toward the next attraction.

Even at closing time, when the fatigue and frustration of the day surely had taken its toll, moms and dads were still gamely making life good for their kids.

And it hit me. Parents who are committed to their kids, who sacrifice for them, and who raise them with love, laughter, and discipline have put a priority on being a family. In so doing, they help maintain the family unit as an essential element in keeping America strong, good and great.

Then, on Friday we turned our eyes to those who have worn the uniform and served in the armed forces. As we honored our veterans, it was again evident that personal sacrifice and commitment to an ideal bigger than self lies at the heart of what it truly means to be an American.

We owe a lasting debt of gratitude to our military, not only for their service, but also for the poignant reminder that America is great because so many have pushed past selfishness to offer sacrificial service to us all.

As we look around our nation and wonder what our future will be, let’s not forget what is all around us. Families are still a basic building block of our society.

Mothers and fathers are still laughing with their kids, still working hard to shape little minds and hearts to walk with integrity, faith and love.

And every year a new generation of young men and women step up to the challenge of military service, understanding life is so much more than looking out for No. 1.

This ought to give us hope and remind us the real essential values of our society are not manufactured in Washington, D.C., but in the living rooms and backyards of your neighborhood and mine.

As we’ve just seen so radically portrayed, all politics really are local. The American people refuse to be talked down to, manipulated, lied to or deceived.

We also refuse to believe our national challenges can be left to professional politicians and pundits. We know what has made America great, and what continues to keep her great, and it starts with the sacrifice seen in everyday parents and everywhere servicemen and servicewomen.

We may not know for sure where America is headed. Time will tell. But we can take comfort knowing the great value of sacrificial service is still a vibrant stream flowing through our country.

We see it in the young families around us, and in the veterans and service personnel who get up every day ready to protect our liberty.

David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident. “Ethically Speaking” runs Saturdays in The Signal.

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David W. Hegg: America’s strength lies in sacrifice

David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident. "Ethically Speaking" runs Saturdays in The Signal.

On the heels of one of the most dramatic presidential elections in recent memory, the pundits have had a field day dissecting what happened, what worked, and what went wrong.

For many, the stunning Trump victory calls us to reflect on just what makes America tick. Who are we? If we dig down to the foundation of our national soul, what do we find?

There are certainly many right answers, but I’ll offer two of them here.

This week my wife and I took a breather day and went to Disneyland. Just the two of us. The day offered perfect weather, great food, lots of coffee, and time to enjoy them all.

Even standing in line was enjoyable as we retreated from the noise of the election campaigns.

But mostly the day was filled with families. Everywhere we looked there were dads and moms pushing strollers, carrying infants, juggling popcorn, jackets and backpacks. They were everywhere.

The park seemed to be filled with little legs, joyful laughter, squeals and the smiles brought about by daddy and mommy hugs.

As I surveyed the scene from my chair, sipping my Starbucks, I felt light-hearted for the first time in a while. There, playing out before my eyes, was the vibrancy of the American soul.

I loved seeing fathers holding their daughters’ hands, lifting them to their shoulders, and even trying out a dance step or two as the Newsboys came singing their way down the street.

But my greatest admiration is reserved for the mothers who bravely brought a whole gaggle of kids by themselves, maneuvering strollers like armored personnel carriers while deftly shooing their laughing herd toward the next attraction.

Even at closing time, when the fatigue and frustration of the day surely had taken its toll, moms and dads were still gamely making life good for their kids.

And it hit me. Parents who are committed to their kids, who sacrifice for them, and who raise them with love, laughter, and discipline have put a priority on being a family. In so doing, they help maintain the family unit as an essential element in keeping America strong, good and great.

Then, on Friday we turned our eyes to those who have worn the uniform and served in the armed forces. As we honored our veterans, it was again evident that personal sacrifice and commitment to an ideal bigger than self lies at the heart of what it truly means to be an American.

We owe a lasting debt of gratitude to our military, not only for their service, but also for the poignant reminder that America is great because so many have pushed past selfishness to offer sacrificial service to us all.

As we look around our nation and wonder what our future will be, let’s not forget what is all around us. Families are still a basic building block of our society.

Mothers and fathers are still laughing with their kids, still working hard to shape little minds and hearts to walk with integrity, faith and love.

And every year a new generation of young men and women step up to the challenge of military service, understanding life is so much more than looking out for No. 1.

This ought to give us hope and remind us the real essential values of our society are not manufactured in Washington, D.C., but in the living rooms and backyards of your neighborhood and mine.

As we’ve just seen so radically portrayed, all politics really are local. The American people refuse to be talked down to, manipulated, lied to or deceived.

We also refuse to believe our national challenges can be left to professional politicians and pundits. We know what has made America great, and what continues to keep her great, and it starts with the sacrifice seen in everyday parents and everywhere servicemen and servicewomen.

We may not know for sure where America is headed. Time will tell. But we can take comfort knowing the great value of sacrificial service is still a vibrant stream flowing through our country.

We see it in the young families around us, and in the veterans and service personnel who get up every day ready to protect our liberty.

David Hegg is senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident. “Ethically Speaking” runs Saturdays in The Signal.

About the author

David W. Hegg

David W. Hegg

  • indy

    I overall agree that this election has ‘worn out’ the public . . . especially the vitriol aimed at both candidates. It’s sad that in modern America, the selection of the President was based on a lot of ‘hating’ by both sides.

    In any event, the public sadly does want to be given ‘happy talk’ versus telling people the actual reality we face that isn’t going to get any politician elected so we’re given ‘outdated folklore’ that only frustrates people.

    Anyone that has grasped the nature of the reality we faced knows very well where we’re going. Unfortunately, the main issues of wage stagnation and off shoring that created the voter motivation to elect Trump saw neither him or Hillary grasp the economic mechanics behind same.

    Same with the issue of global unrest. We’re being told that ‘military action’ creating essentially ‘perpetual war’ leads to peace yet the driver of global unrest, unsustainable global population growth, creates the economic stagnation and religious fundamentalism we see.

    It’s great to have ‘American values’ but that’s different that dealing with the actual reality in play.

    People need to grasp that GOP libertarian market fundamentalism (think limitless growth on a fixed rock in space’ is possible but the reality we ‘see’ says otherwise.

    And DNC promises basically the same thing as we saw with Obama promising the same ole same ole ‘we’ll just grow ourselves out of problems’.

    I can only suggest that to defuse American worker frustration, the everyone start exploring ‘sustainability’ that links population to resources versus telling Americans they don’t have any role in the outcomes we are witnessing.

    When you buy a low-cost product from China where the average wage is about a $1/hr, you’re telling the multination to continue to off shore manufacturing to the nations with the lowest wages . . . another consequence of unsustainable global population growth including pushing wages down here in the US since the global labor market incudes the US.

    If you want to have a large family, tell your kids ‘upfront’ that they will be seeing less economic opportunity due to resource realties versus the value of ‘hard work’. You can want to work hard but of the jobs are off shored, you won’t be finding one . . . and the one you do find will pay less.

    No politician will discuss this economic reality in place . . . and I’m fearful that over time, Trump’s promises will be discovered to be unworkable based on reality.

    We have the intelligence to do better . . . but we need to be accepting the reality we face and acting accordingly.

    I suggest ‘sacrificing’ some of your time at these sites to gain a better understanding as to what lies ahead . . . at least you’ll know the reality versus staying frustrated with outdated folklore, beliefs or ideology.

    As JFK noted succinctly (paraphrasing): The future is here whether we seek it or not.

    http://www.steadystate.org
    http://www.worldwatch.org
    http://www.populationconnection.org
    http://www.earth.columbia.edu/sections/view/9
    http://www.postcarbon.org

    • tech

      Another retread post.

  • Nishka

    “The election is over, and we now know what’s coming. The next four years will feature a President who has promised to bring back torture, murder the families of terror suspects, close America’s doors to those fleeing war, put us back on the path to war with Iran, militarize our police even more than they already are, and waste more money at the Pentagon then ever before. And he’s got a Congress that’s going to help him do it.”

    • tech

      More ignorance and irrational fear.

    • tech

      If you have a mind to wander from the fever swamps you frequent, this is a rational read:

      ‘I Won’
      The Left will not enjoy living with its own precedents.

      “If our so-called liberals want to bust a few shop windows in Oakland — well, there isn’t much to do in Oakland, anyway. But those of you who are shaking in your Birkenstocks over the election of Donald Trump should consider the possibility that if the office of the presidency is that important to you, then perhaps the most intelligent course of action is not to pin your hopes on controlling it always and forever (something unlikely to happen under truly democratic processes) but to work toward making it less important — to you, and to everybody else, too.

      You’ll find a great many conservatives ready to join you in that project.”

      http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442155/donald-trump-executive-power-left-loves-constitutional-checks-balances-again

  • robert stauffer

    Where are we headed? I think we’re headed for a much needed confrontation of course! Film at 11:00.

    I wish more people understood The Law of Sacrifice, so we must need good teachers.

    Maybe the teachers we have are either too few, or too blue.

    Speaking of colors, that colored map of country shows where we need to send the ‘teachers’.

    Lot’s of people seem to be utterly clueless how bad ‘debt’ is, both financial and spiritual. Either that or they just don’t care about things like federally funded abortion paid with borrowed money.

David W. Hegg

David W. Hegg