Today, we celebrate George Washington, not only for his birthday and for having been our first United States President, but we also celebrate General Washington, wise and unselfish Commander of a tattered citizen soldiery, who wrung victory and freedom from the seasoned legions of Europe under discouragements that would have crushed anyone with a less indomitable spirit.
In 1776, George Washington gathered his troops together and told them he needed someone for a highly secret mission behind enemy lines. His soldiers loved and were loyal to him. So, a young twenty-one year old soldier from Yale volunteered for the mission. It seemed he was going to be successful, but as he returned with the battle plans of the British, they were tipped off and he was arrested and sentenced to be hanged. The next morning, as he was facing execution, he uttered these poignant words: “My only regret is that I have but one life to lose for my country.” This young man, Nathan Hale, was willing to pay a price for freedom that required his own life.
In many ways, what Nathan Hale did symbolized what Christ has done for all of us. Christ paid the ultimate price for our freedom from the bondage of sin. Freedom always involves a price – what Nathan Hale did for America and, likewise, what Jesus has done for us. Our choice is to accept it on faith with gratitude.