It is Presidents' Day in the United States, when we traditionally honor the birth of George Washington, the so-called Father of our country. I find myself drawn to the kind of quiet strength he is said to have possessed. At the tender age of 20, due to the premature deaths of his brother and sister-in-law, he found himself executor of the expansive Mount Vernon estate. By the age of 23, he was commander of all Virginia troops in pre-revolutionary America. The striking thing is that, not unlike the case of King David, these were not necessarily positions to which young George aspired.
In the excellent TV mini-series, John Adams, Washington, adeptly played by David Morse, assumes the office of first president of the United States with a healthy dose of fear and trepidation. The scene of his swearing in, which I share with you now, will forever be burned into my memory:
Whatever your political persuasion, it is my hope that we all grasp with sobriety the gravity of such an oath of office.
My question for you to respond to: do we expect too much of the president, whoever he may be?