Benjamin Franklin is by no means remembered as the picture of a pious man. However, he did have his own faith and was good friends with George Whitefield, who rode up and down the colonies telling them that in God’s eyes, there were no different than a man born to be king. It took somebody with the insight of Franklin to poke the bear and question the status quo. This happened during the constitutional convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Here is a portion of Franklin’s statement:
I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel…
I love the beauty of this language. The imagery is important. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice… Leads me to wonder what else does he notice?
I am sure he notices the brokenhearted. Those who strive for peace and joy only to have it dashed on the rocks of broken relationships. I am certain he notices the small kindnesses we pay to others. The time we pick up the piece of trash, the time we make sure a waitress gets ever nickel of her tip. I believe he notices when we make decisions based upon our understanding of faith and scripture, and not along the lines of popular culture, especially when those two diverge. I believe he notices each and every person, and is interested in every aspect of their lives.
If almighty God is interested in your everyday life, isn’t it time to spend a little time with him and try to understand him better? Take a few moments to pray and establish a relationship with him.
Benjamin Franklin understood that we need God in order to make our Republic and to make it work. In this political season, we really don’t have a particular “God” candidate. We can only pray that God would find a way to work through the eventual winner.