Dream Word – CHANGE
1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. NKJV
The Trail of Tears
It was whilst first driving down Interstate 75 in Georgia in the late 90s, that I first noticed the white signs on brown backgrounds saying “Trail of Tears”. Now the USA has a habit of naming its freeways after people of power, presence and prominence, but it was the first time I ever saw a highway called Trail of Tears, National Historic Trail. How interesting.
Another time on the same highway when driving to the North Georgia Mountains and to Ellijay, Georgia’s 'Apple Capital', I was tired and couldn’t wait to kick back, relax a little and smell the roses, indeed knowing that a white rose is Georgia’s state flower, it made the prospect of relaxation all the more attractive. How interesting.
At the time of writing this 'Whisper' I am off to a men’s retreat on the Coosawattee River. The very names of Ellijay and Coosawattee when said out loud, indicate the roots of a very different language. Indeed, these places were once part of the vast and enchanting, ancestral home of the Tsilagi People, or the Principled People, or as we know them, the Cherokee nation.
After a good night’s sleep at the men's retreat, the following day I took my laptop and drove to the Crimson Moon Café in the small town of Dahlonega, a beautiful tourist trap, selling trinkets and flavoured coffee! Dahlonega’s quaintness and beauty however, hide the fact that this was a major boomtown in the Georgia Gold rush, the first in U.S. history actually, and indeed, even became a branch mint for the United States Mint. The name Dahlonega is also of Cherokee origin and means, 'yellow money'.
The examination of history is a complicated affair. However I believe it is safe to say that ultimately, it was the discovery of gold in these same North Georgia mountains that led to the forced removal of over 16,000 Cherokee Indians, to diseased holding forts and then to a journey of over 1,000 miles on foot, to their new and very different lands in Oklahoma. This forced march resulted in the death of between 4,000 and 6,000 Cherokee. It is reported that the mothers of the Cherokee were grieving and perpetually crying on the journey, because they were unable to help their children survive. The Cherokee elders prayed for a sign that would lift the mothers' spirits and so give them strength to continue. The next day, a beautiful rose began to grow where each of the mothers' tears had fallen. The rose is white for their tears; a gold center representing the gold taken from Cherokee lands, and the seven leaves on each stem represent the seven Cherokee clans. This Georgia state flower, this wild Cherokee Rose, grows along the route of the Trail of Tears into eastern Oklahoma even today.
Make no mistake about it; Chief Dragging Canoe was correct when he said that it was the “continual advancing banners of a greedy host” that consumed the ancient nations in the USA. Spiritually speaking, greed always leads to a 'trail of tears'. So then, may I ask you what might be greedy for tonight? How might that end in tears for other people, even for you? Think about that. If greed destroys nations, how will you fair in succumbing to that self same lust?
Many Cherokees had become Christians by the time of the Trail of Tears and missionaries who travelled with them, report that they were great singers. On this Trail of Tears, the Cherokee Christians sang one particular song, which since then has become the unofficial national anthem of the Cherokee Nation. That song is ‘Amazing Grace.’ Translating it back from the Cherokee it reads:
Paid for us,
Then to heaven He went,
After paying for us.
But He said,
When He rose,
"I'll come again,"
He said when He spoke.
All the earth will end
When He comes.
All will see Him
All over the earth.
All the good people living
He will come after.
In peace they will live
The first book to be translated into Cherokee was a hymn book. Along your 'trail of tears', the answer to destruction of the pursuit of great greed is always amazing grace. Did you get that?
Listen: - Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" Hebrews 13:5-6 NKJV
Pray: Lord I set my eyes on You. Deliver me from greed, especially the covetous greed of another person's, goods, land, property and relationships. By Your amazing grace, help me O Lord to be content with what I have. In Jesus name I pray, amen.