Lessons learned from visiting Ford’s Theatre

Over spring break, our family spent seven days in Washington D.C..  We visited a number of museums, some twice, and made the rounds of our nation’s prominent memorials.  We had good weather and bad weather.  We toured the U.S. Capital building, the National Cathedral, the Library of Congress, THE WHITE HOUSE, and Ford’s Theatre.  We took a pause to visit National Community Church, where Mark Batterson is the Lead Pastor.

In all the places we spent time, the two most remarkable places were the White House and Ford’s Theatre.  If you’re reading this, you understand the history of the White House, it has been home to our President for many decades.  You may not be familiar with Ford’s Theatre.

Ford’s Theatre is about a 1/2 mile from the White House and the National Mall, tucked in behind the FBI Building.  Ford’s Theatre is the last public destination made by President Abraham Lincoln.  The building has amazing architecture.  The history has been remarkable preserved.  The two hours we spent in that corridor has left a lasting impact on me.

IMG_1466First, there is a wall of books written about President Lincoln.  15,000 documents dedicated to one man who believed that “all men were created equal” and gave his life to defend that belief.  The result was that people hated him for it.  Others loved him.

I was forced to ask myself a question.

Do I defend my beliefs so well that my circle of influence will go beyond the current generation?

I could easily admit that I never want people to hate me, but yet Jesus said people will hate me because they hated Him (John 15:18).

I was forced to ask a second question.

Do people know exactly what I believe based on my actions?  People know that my family has Michigan Football season tickets because our loyalty proves it.  God deserves so much more.

Second, we caught Ford’s Theatre at the right time to see a special exhibit honoring the 150 year anniversary of President Lincoln’s death.  We were not allowed to take any pictures of this exhibit, but we saw very specific details and items that had been preserved from the night the shot was fired.  We saw his hat.  We saw his coat that was cut by the medical staff.  We saw the gun that was used. We saw what was in President Lincoln’s pockets.  We saw the blood-stained American flag that was draped at his suite in Ford’s Theatre.  The artifacts took me back to the scene.

I was forced to ask a third question.

Have I preserved the accuracy of Scripture so other people can be “taken back to the scene”?

The three questions are so pivotal for each of us as we attempt to follow Jesus with everything we have.  Life is journey that doesn’t always go as planned.  Life is a journey that has roller-coaster seasons.  Life is a journey that will fade away into the history books unless we are willing to take a stand for a beliefs.  Life is a journey that will be forgotten unless we are intentional about passing something to future generations.

Today, I challenge you to open your Bible and take yourself back to the scene.  Then, take another person back to the scene with you.  I think you will be glad you did.

Life is a journey.  In order to walk, you have to get off the couch.