I am Canadian, through and through. I love Canada: it is my nation. I was born in New Brunswick, raised in Nova Scotia and Quebec, and educated in British Columbia. As a youth I had the privilege of traveling across this great nation, meeting its people, experiencing its traditions, tasting its food, learning its languages, and visiting its historical sites.
I have a vivid memory of our family taking time to stop and take pictures on Parliament Hill. As I stood beside one of the RCMP officers who was guarding the entry to the Parliament buildings, my young heart was profoundly impacted. I remember thinking that I too had to do my part to “stand on guard” for Canada.
For the last 25 years, I have lived, worked and connected with the citizens and culture of this region. Our children have been raised here, have taken up work and made Kelowna their home. To this day I remain “on guard” for Canada, as a citizen and as a Christian leader: for my sake, their sake, my grandchildren’s sake, for generation’s sake, and for the destiny of Canada sake.
Sometimes that passion to “stand on guard” for my nation has taken me to the nation’s capital, speaking with members of Parliament, addressing committees, representing moral positions on social issues. I remain passionate about the need for Canada’s citizenry to take “standing on guard” seriously.
If there was ever a time when Canadians needed to take up this challenge, it is now. Canada’s future is at stake. It is under siege, from within and from without. We are facing a civil war of values. Canada’s corporate conscience is bleeding. It has been suffering from a lack of ethical direction. It is morally afloat, unanchored and drifting. The tree of Canada needs to be rooted again, or it’s leaves will rot.
“O Canada” was proclaimed Canada’s national anthem on July 1, 1980, 100 years after it was first sung on June 24, 1880. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, Canada’s national musician. I can remember, when attending public school as a child, that every day started with a reading from the scriptures, a prayer from the principal over the intercom, and the singing of “O Canada!”
You remember the words, don’t you? “O Canada! Our home and native land! True patriot love in all thy sons command. With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North, strong and free! From far and wide, O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. God keep our land glorious and free ! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.”
Have you ever asked yourself this simple question: “How does one ‘stand on guard’ for Canada? What does that mean?” Or, even better: “Have I stood on guard for Canada? Have I protected it’s integrity and honor?” We are supposed to, aren’t we? I hate singing anthems that don’t have their root in reality and truth.
Are you standing on guard? Do you know the issues? Do you care? Are you willing to pay the price to be informed, educated, form a position, and care about the future of our people by doing something? If not now, when? If not you, who? If not, why not?
During the following weeks and months, we are going to investigate areas that appear undefended in our nation’s development right now. With God’s help, it will be my desire to help us together raise the standard of defense, the shield of faith over our country, and to protect its future from that which wants to destroy its great destiny.