Christmas Day 1776

One of my favorite Christmas stories occurred in 1776 along the Delaware River. The war for independence wasn’t going well.  The Continental troops were cold, sick and hungry.  Morale was abysmal. Fearing his men would desert, Washington instigated a plan to slip across the Delaware River during Christmas night and attack while the Hessian soldiers were resting from their holiday festivities.   Imagine an army of men silently rowing across a river without being heard?

If my facts are right, a loyalist farmer heard the approaching army and rushed to the British headquarters.  When he asked the corporal on duty for permission to see the general, the corporal refused.  The man was told that the general was playing cards and couldn’t be disturbed.  The farmer insisted, but the corporal wouldn’t budge.  Finally the corporal agreed to deliver a note to the general.  Scribbling his message on a scrap of paper, the farmer left in frustration.  When ihe corporal reluctantly handed the note to the general, he was reprimanded for disturbing the military officers’ game.  Disgusted the general dropped the unread note in his pocket and returned to his cards.  And, the  rest is history.  The resulting Battle of Trenton reversed the winds of war for Washington and the Continental army.

Stuffing an unread note in a jacket pocket made all the difference.  Insignificant choices in our lives can change the outcome of tomorrow–a car that won’t start, a traffic jam on Main Street, a backed-up drain pipe, lost car keys, spilled coffee on one’s shirt that result in a lost flight, a car accident, even a terrorist attack.  What I may perceive as a mistake can be a blessing in disguise.  2 Corinthians 2:14 NIV says, Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ…”

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One Response to Christmas Day 1776

  1. Enda Kolek says:

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