Ever since my son joined the school band, he has asked me to go on the annual school band trip. Each year I have been out of town or simply too busy to go.
My son is now in the 9th grade and I thought if I am going to go, I'd better hurry up and go.
So I cleared my schedule so I could go. I was offered several opportunities to minister that would have been a blessing to me, but I turned them down to spend this time with my son and the band.
After several months of payments, I paid for his trip and mine. A week before the trip my son announced to me that he had changed his mind, and did not want me to go. I asked why. He said, "Because I would cramp his style. I don't want anyone to know you are my father on the trip, so I can be free!"
I told him, "I'm sorry to hear that, but I am going! And everybody is going to know I am your father!" He said, "Well I won't be talking to you!" All I could say was, "That is your choice!"
Isn't it interesting that the only reason I went was to spend time with him, and the only person he did not want to spend time with was me?
I do want you to know my son is a good son - truth is, he is a great son. I am hoping this is just a teenage thing. The majority of the time, he did not talk to me, but anytime he wanted money, I was his personal ATM machine. Of course who spends time with the ATM, after they get the money?
I am still glad I went on the trip. The trip was to Boston, Mass., the home of the Boston Massacre. We saw history like never before. We stood at the grave side of Paul Revere, the Franklin family, (Benjamin Franklin's parents and brother), and the first signer of the American Constitution, John Hancock. We went to the church where Paul Revere got his instructions, where the light in the tower told us one if by land, two if by sea. We got on boats, and reenacted the Boston Tea Party. We actually got pictures of people throwing tea in water. Some were even dressed up like Indians. We walked the streets of history, went into various buildings were history happened.
We also went to various locations where one of the pride of Boston's events took place - the Boston Marathon.
Who knew that a few weeks after the band trip to Boston, there would be an evil act of trying to cause another Boston Massacre? At the time of this writing, we do know some of the heroes who came forward after the bombing. When other people ran away, these brave heroes ran to them to help. The first responders, the police, the firemen, the marathon volunteers.
With only seconds to decide, and no real clue of a second bomb, or what other dangers might be around, they risked all to help strangers.
I could not help but think we have some of those types of people right here in our own community. I would like to remind us, that while we are praying for the bombers to be brought to justice, let's not forget to pray for the victims, their families and the heroes that helped limit the negative event as much as possible.
I think that it bears noting that the bomb was not at the beginning of the race, not the middle of the race, but very near the end of the race. I think that means something to every American. Many will argue that The American dream started in Boston. From what I learned, I would tend to agree.
No one can argue that the dream is real. It came at great sacrifices. We as a country have had our ups and downs, including the American Revolution, French and Indian War, Spanish-American War, the Civil War, World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and many other concerns about slavery, women's rights and many other important rights. But with all the ups and downs, the good news is that we as a people are still in the race.
Someone or group of people is trying to make us live in fear of each other, and the darkness that is evil. They feel as though we are getting closer to the American Dream that started so many years ago.
I just want to let you know we have come too far to turn around now! We must finish the race for justice, finish the race for brotherly love, finish the race for community, and finish the race for the American Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the American Dream.
We (still) hold these truths to be self-evident: "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
I would just like to close by thanking the Wheeling Park Band for allowing me to go on their trip to Boston. I will never forget the history or the trip. I also want to thank God for the life of a man who helped me to continue my fight for the American Dream, Mr. Pat Davis, of Steubenville, Ohio who went on to his reward last week. He started a revolution in our ministry. God Bless.
Cummings is pastor of Bethlehem Apostolic Temple in Wheeling and Shiloh Apostolic Faith Assembly in Weirton.