The views in the mountains are always beautiful from the passenger seat. Growing up in the South Carolina Upstate, this was always my thought as a child.
Every so often, our family or church group would head up the road into western North Carolina where the views were always spectacular with majestic mountains, green gorges, and rolling rivers.
It was only when I started driving that I realized the views, as spectacular as they were, also included some of the most death-defying drops which would make the most adventurous rides at Carowinds seem like a kiddie playground.
Never were these dangerous drops clearer to me than in March of 2019 when the public relations firm I worked with was helping with the Superbowl of Fishing – The Bassmaster Classic, hosted in Knoxville, Tennessee.
In the midst of the tournament, I had to return to Columbia for a literal one-hour South Carolina Senate committee hearing. I left early that morning from Knoxville, drove four hours to the State House, attended my meeting, and got back on the road with four of my kids riding along. I wanted them to have the experience of being at “The Classic.”
We finally got out of town about 5:30 that afternoon, and if you have ever driven up I-26 toward Asheville, you know how beautiful the views can be at sunset. As I watched the shadows moving across the Blue Ridge Mountains, it hit me: I have to drive through these mountains at night…in the dark.
All of a sudden, beautiful scenery was replaced in my mind with deep ravines and dark valleys I knew were there but could not see. I drove a little wearisome for several miles until I finally recognized how the guardrails and their reflectors were guiding my path.
Though the GPS on my phone was giving me directions to my ultimate destination, it was the reflectors on the guardrails, lighting the pathway, that kept me safe within the boundaries.
Just recently, and for the last few years now, we are witnessing the sunset in America begin to dip below the horizon. Our society has experienced serious changes, deep ravines, and dark valleys so frequently, it seems as if we have developed cultural vertigo. Down seems up, and up seems down.
This should come as no surprise, though, because the Word of God tells us, There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death (Proverbs 14:12, esv). Cancel culture, the LGBTQ+ agenda, transgenders in sports, and so much more are hovering over the landscape of America like shifting shadows looming over those majestic mountains. That’s why guardrails and reflectors for our society are so important. As these shadows grow longer, we need to be able to see where we’re going and guided by established principles that never change like shifting shadows.
For more than 25 years, Palmetto Family has been the cultural guardrails working to steer public policy in Biblically-guided directions in South Carolina and seeking to make our state a place where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished.
If you’ve ever driven along the roadways of South Carolina, you realize there is much roadwork to be done. Over time, roads crumble and we need to make improvements (resurface roads, reinforce the guardrails, replace broken reflectors) to ensure the boundaries are in place so the next generation can safely travel the path ahead.
In the book of Nehemiah, we read how a singular public servant recognized his community’s desperate needs, took those needs to the rulers of the day, and helped make his community better. With God‘s favor and the blessings of that ruler, Nehemiah worked within his community to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
It was not a solo effort. It was every person taking responsibility for his or her own “section of the wall.” With a sword to defend in one hand and tools of construction in the other, the people of the city rebuilt the wall in 52 days.
This is exactly where we are today.
If ever there has ever been a time when the “Big C“ Church needs to re-engage in the work God has called us to do, now is the time to rebuild and reinforce the guardrails of our society. We need to ensure that we, as the reflectors on the guardrails, are reflecting the love and graciousness of God to the world which so often does not know up from down.
Just as importantly, we need to be training the next generation so they can be prepared to lead, because one day, the guardrails will be theirs. Let’s make sure they are prepared to be reflectors of the love of Christ to a world that so desperately needs Him.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (MATTHEW 5:14-16 esv)
Is the President of Palmetto Family, South Carolina’s conservative cultural policy council focused on practical applications of a Biblical worldview in today’s society. Since 1991, Dave has been involved in media, politics, government, and public relations. He and his wife Rochelle are parents to 10 children, 2 in-law children and live in Lexington, SC.