Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.

9/06/2006

Whose on first?

First President of the USAA recent cover story for U.S. News & World report was on famous firsts. They report that George Washington wasn't the first person to go by the title of the President of the United States of America. He wasn't even the second. It turns out that the man called "First in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen," was the nascent nation's eleventh president. The problem is a matter of definition. The previous ten served as leader's under the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union. The job was a very different one as it worked from both a different fouding document and different idea of how separate the states being united would remain.

One article in the magazine, Does being first matter? noted,
Perhaps that's ultimately what makes first so special: its simplicity, devoid of nuance or subjectivity. Deciding whether something is best is often nearly impossible, as everyone brings his own measurements to the equation. But placing the number 1 next to a name lends it an undeniable instant credibility, plus heft, praise, and attention.
Jesus named the whole project as misguided in saying the last would be first and the first would be last. Whose on first was the wrong question. For Jesus it is how God sees you that matters. And the way to make yourself the top banana in Jesus' eyes was not to be served but to serve. Humility not hubris is the ticket to the top (or is that bottom) of the heavenly heap.

Wondering who was the first President of the United States of America? It was Samuel Huntington of Maryland who resigned after four months due to "work related fatigue."


The photo above shows Victoria fueling her P.T. Cruiser on Labor Day at a gas station in Waynesboro, Georgia built on the site of a home where George Washington once lodged. It is sort of an anachronistic "George Washington fueled here" marker now.

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