By Melinda Bloyd
“If God is willing and the Creek don’t rise”
~~Colonel Benjamin Hawkins (1754 – 1816)
I have heard variations of this quote all of my life. Regardless of the exact wording, the message has always been the same…..Providing that there was no intervention or hindrance, the task at hand would be accomplished. When I finally saw the quote in print, something about the structure of the sentence caught my attention. I noticed that the word Creek was capitalized in the middle of the sentence. I also thought that the choice of the verb don’t did not match the selected noun. As I pondered the phrase, I began to research its origin.
Colonel Benjamin Hawkins, Delegate to the Continental Congress, United States Senator and General Superintendent of Indian Affairs, was famous for this quote. Hawkins was involved in the affairs of the Creek Nation in the early years of our country’s history. When the President requested Hawkins return to Washington, the now famous quote was his reply.
For years, I had imagined a body of water rising out of its banks and preventing someone from safe passage. Now, I understand that Hawkins was concerned that an uprising among the Creek Indians might hinder his trip. Colonel Hawkins’ wife was Creek and he lived very close to the people with whom he was involved. As conveyed in his message, Hawkins would return to Washington providing that it was within his power and no unforeseen circumstances prevented his travels.
While reading the Hawkins story, I was reminded that if it is God’s plan for us to continue on our journey, we will. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow or even the rest of today. That is a powerful thought. We must live as if there is no tomorrow, by giving our best today.
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.”
~~ James 4:13-15 NASB
Copyright 2012, Melinda Bloyd, All Rights Reserved, Breath of Life Women’s Ministries. Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible. Image of Colonel Benjamin Hawkins courtesy of http://www.ngeorgia.com/images/benjaminhawkins Image of Creek Indian Chief Osceola courtesy of http://accessgenealogy.com/native/indianchiefs/osceola.htm