Friday, March 18, 2011


My blogging friend Paul and I share quite a few similarities. He says, “I love history”.

Well, we are different on this one! I don’t love history.

I like to read history. The more history I read history, the more I see that mankind cannot be trusted to record his own history. Almost every author has his own version, revealing his bias. Even the so-called “official” versions.

As far as I can ascertain, from spending time in the home of an American school teacher, Americans have not been taught Australian history in their schools. Maybe that’s a good thing. Even our Australian “official” histories reveal the (often political) bias of the writer.

When I was attending school, we were taught quite a bit about world history, including American, but all of my reading since confirms my suspicion that secular history alone, is clearly not reliable, especially if we will put aside national pride.

The Apostle Paul has history well defined in his statement regarding the Jews, “ For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God himself has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse."

That statement applies to the whole human race!

The fulcrum upon which all of history hangs is spiritual. God created all that there is. From the first day of creation, God’s hand was on all that would ever take place (I did not say God caused ). God's Spirit is at work among men, and no one can understand history apart from that fact. He is both “hands on” and “hands off”, at the same time.

God is indeed sovereign, and if He is sovereign at all, He is sovereign over all, including history, at all times.

My friend, Paul, avers his love of poetry, as well. As for poems, I love some and loathe others. Here is one which rang a bell for me:

The Calf-Path
Sam Walter Foss (1858 -1911)

One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;

But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.

Since then two hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.

But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.

The trail was taken up next day
By a lone dog that passed that way;

And then a wise bell-wether sheep
Pursued the trail o'er vale and steep,

And drew the flock behind him, too,
As good bell-wethers always do.

And from that day, o'er hill and glade,
Through those old woods a path was made.

And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about;

And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because 'twas such a crooked path.

But still they followed - do not laugh -
The first migration of that calf.

And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.

This forest path became a lane,
That bent, and turned, and turned again.

This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load,

Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.

And thus a century and a half,
They trod the footsteps of that calf.

The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;

And this, before men were aware,
A city's crowded thoroughfare;

And soon the central street was this,
Of a renowned metropolis;

And men two centuries and a half,
Trod the footsteps of that calf.

Each day a hundred thousand rout,
Followed the zigzag calf about;

And o'er his crooked journey went,
The traffic of a continent.

A hundred thousand men were led,
By one calf near three centuries dead.

They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;

For thus such reverence is lent,
To well-established precedent.

A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;

For men are prone to go it blind,
Along the calf-paths of the mind;

And work away from sun to sun,
To do what other men have done.

They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,

And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.

But how the wise old wood-gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf !

Ah ! many things this tale might teach -
But I am not ordained to preach


Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

That my friend, is good.

Aussie John said...


Thanks for dropping in.

That poem has much to say about the way we do things in every aspect of life.

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