American Spirit Essay Contest Winner

A 20/20 Vision for Utah and America in 2020

Throughout history, research in the field of ophthalmology has skyrocketed. From centuries-old spectacles to laser vision restoration, improving, protecting, and preserving eyesight has always been valued and important, with 20/20 or “perfect” eyesight being the ultimate goal.Often, the blind are overlooked. However, Helen Keller, who lived her life in darkness, didn’t allow her blindness to affect her vision, which encompassed far more than sight alone. Helen was known to have said, “The only thing that is worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” The parable warns,“where there is no vision, the people perish…”

The Constitution was written by men who had vision. What gave them the essential foresight, the discernment, the breadth of view and farsightedness was their trust in God and His divine guidance. America became great, not because of the greatness of men, but because men recognized the greatness of God and postured themselves in humble prayer before Him. George Washington wisely expressed, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports…let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.” Webster defined,“Religion, in its most comprehensive sense, includes a belief in the being and perfections of God, in the revelation of his will to man, in man’s obligation to obey his commands…and in man’s accountableness to God.”

Over past decades, America, including our great state of Utah, has changed significantly. Many have left God altogether. Some still “come near…with their lips, but their hearts are far from [Him].” The contemporary consensus has reverted to acknowledging humankind’s handiwork rather than our Master’s miracles. Reliance upon governments created by men is eclipsing our reliance upon God, our Creator. While technology advancing physical sight has climbed, are we spiraling downward into spiritual blindness? Patrick Henry warned, “We are apt to shut our eyes against a painful truth… Are we disposed to be of the number of those who, having eyes, see not, and having ears, hear not? For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth.”

In this world of change, it is essential to know that God never changes. Reliance on Him unlocks His grace and restores vision – His perfect vision. It is the only sustainable solution for our state and nation! God declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Are we willing to see and follow God’s Master plan? He promises, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

I have confidence and hope for America in 2020 and beyond, if, we will “never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”

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