56 steps


The Birthplace of President Abraham Lincoln

Day 33

Hogenville, KY-The Birthplace of Abraham Lincoln

Friday, May 8, 2015

I have been coming on retreat at  Abbey of Gethsemani for 23 years.  Everytime I drive to the Abbey I see the sign, Lincoln’s birthplace 18 miles.  I always thought I should go but just never took the time.  One of the gifts of my sabbatical is time.  I am able to take my time and I do not feel rushed.  Today, I will live in the moment and visit the 16th President’s birthplace. Cecelia drew me a map which led me down the back roads from the monastery to Hogenville.  On the way you pass Lincoln’s boyhood home, which was undergoing renovation and therefore closed.  These were roads I have never traveled in all my years of coming on retreat,  The mountains and countyside was breath taking.  I wanted to beat myself up for waiting so long and for missing so much.  Procrastion is my Achilles’ heel.

President Lincoln was born in a one room log cabin.  To perserve the cabin, the National Park Service has placed it inside a beautiful monument simular to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.  It is set on the land once own by his father known as Sinking Spring Farm.  It is a gorgeous wooded area.  To reach the top of the monument you climb up four sets of stairs with 14 steps each.  Each step represents one year of his life.  I never realized Abraham Lincoln was only 56 at his death.

What I was not prepared for was the shear humility one feels as you gaze inside this one room home.  My bedroom is larger than his birthplace.  The Park Ranger on duty could tell I was taken back.  He said to me, I think every person who runs for President of the United States should be required to visit this place.  I agreed.  How grateful I am for his leadership and courage.  We are the UNITED States because of his vision.  The quality of humility is rare in our current political leaders.  Perhaps that is a quality we should insist on, when casting our ballots.

I count it all joy,

Pastor Vallerie

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