“The parable of the lighthouse.”


Long ago, a group of men decided to build a lighthouse. They had all been seamen in their younger days and now they wanted to do something to help other sailors navigate the waters around their rugged peninsula. They all realized there was an urgent need for this to be done but they chose to work carefully. They discussed every part of their plans and worked out every detail. They all agreed that the most important goal was to build a lighthouse that would outlast all of them and be a gift to their grandchildren. With that singular purpose in mind they started to build a wonderful new lighthouse, the first of its kind. This wasn’t just a new lighthouse though, it was equipped with detailed instructions on how it should be operated and maintained forever. The old seamen thought of every possible problem and agreed to a set of operating standards that had never been tried before, by anyone.

After more than a dozen years, the lighthouse was completed and people from all over the world came there with a new sense of confidence in their safety and hope for a brighter future. The lighthouse became a welcoming beacon for people who had known only darkness and the light became a daily reminder of commitment to the common good. Even amidst nature’s most violent storms, the lighthouse faithfully kept to its mission. The seamen had laid its foundation on bedrock and it passed into the hands of each new generation as good as ever. Their grandchildren even worked to improve the lighthouse. Everyone understood that their very lives depended on their lighthouse and its original purpose, to keep people safe.

Decades turned to centuries and the lighthouse endured until the end of the second century when people started to question the need for it. The operating manual had been rewritten so many times that no one was completely certain whether it was relevant anymore. Others argued over the need to welcome more people to their land. And still others just didn’t want to pay for its maintenance any longer. After years of disagreement, empty promises by the leaders of the land and general neglect, the lighthouse …

Now reread this and substitute the word country for lighthouse.

The last part of this story hasn’t been written yet. How do you think it should end?

©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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4 Responses to “The parable of the lighthouse.”

  1. DAb says:

    What a great analogy, Guy.

    1st of all, I think everyone should learn about the Constitution (building & operating instructions)—http://constitution.hillsdale.edu/

    In addition to ourselves, I am finding that our children and grandchildren are searching for answers about how our nation came about, why it is the only nation of its kind & what is happening to our “One Nation Under God”—often without knowing the right questions to ask.

    I am increasingly impressed by the number of folks I am encountering that are “waking up” to recognize the continued need for “God’s lighthouse”; and are quietly stepping up to learn how to keep it “Lit” for future generations—like yourself, putting themselves “out” to help others understand & act accordingly—FOR THE GREATER GOOD!

  2. grhgraph says:

    I’m with you Duane. We all need to study the Constitution and teach our kids the importance of what America stands for. I hope I get to write a very happy ending to this story and soon.

  3. Suzanne says:

    Guy – this, to me, is a sad story and I can’t wait for you to put your positive spin on it. Our society is a disposable and wasteful population. Truth is (my opinion) that things no longer have value. People lack a strong moral compass. With everything, not just our constitution but our vocabulary, our family bonds, work ethic, etc.

    There are still many educated and knowledgable people in this world. God provides us the means. Thankfully, people are catching on. KILL THE TV. I think it was created to dumb us down.

    You are my hero.

    • grhgraph says:

      I have to agree with the TV. It has done more harm than good. I think that’s why writing this blog has become so important to me. It’s my one chance at teaching values.
      We can change the world and we need to, but we better get started by standing up for what’s right. What’s right is compassion, integrity, honesty and commitment to the common good. I think that’s what the founding fathers wanted for all mankind.

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