Are you persevering, Macedonia?
Because the Western elites continue to threaten
Scottish evangelist and writer, Oswald Chambers (1874–1917), writing in his daily devotional book, “My Utmost for His Highest,” writes this in the February 22 entry: “Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered…If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble….”
Let me apply this to Macedonia now. Using Chambers’ language, above, “our hero” in Macedonia’s case is the return of Macedonia’s rightful name, along with Macedonian identity and dignity, all three of which have been stripped away, temporarily. And Macedonians are enduring through these difficult times (made difficult not just because of the name issue, but because of the corruption, crime, economic stagnation, and more). But going back to Chambers’ above quote, more than just endurance is needed. Perseverance is not only needed, perseverance is required and it is, to go back to the quote, more than just hanging on. I do know — and supremely believe — that Macedonians can and will persevere because Macedonians have persevered. Through the centuries Macedonians persevered finally achieving, in 1991, a distinct, unique, and sovereign homeland, with a distinct name, the Republic of Macedonia.
Would it be a bridge too far to say that the desire of Macedonians for a return of their rightful name — the hopes and dreams of Macedonians — is noble? Of course it is noble. Why? Because since the Treaty of Westphalia, in 1648 (in reality, a series of treaties that ended the 30 Years’ War, 1618–1648) the world has, by and large, moved towards the creation of the nation-state, sovereign, individual nation-states in a world in which the various peoples live in those nation-states. This was the noble cause that Macedonian patriots fought for and nearly achieved in the Ilinden Uprising and finally achieved on September 8, 1991.
Which makes it ironic that a group of European federalists intent on getting rid of the nation-states will be awarding former Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev and former Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras the “Westphalian Peace Prize” in the city of Münster. The language they use on their website about the prize gives away their agenda as they make the awards to individuals “committed to unity and peace in a Federal Europe.” Certainly, Zoran Zaev is worthy of that prize for he did a great deal to remove Macedonia’s sovereignty and hand it over to Brussels.
The battle is long and it will continue. The forces of those who believe in global governance and desire to denigrate the nation-state are strong. Matthew Palmer, the US State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs (and writer of fiction thrillers) in his latest attack on those who simply wish to be recognized for who and what they are — Macedonia and Macedonians — continued those threats in a Voice of America Macedonia interview in late February in which he once again threatened Macedonians stating “There’s no path forward to overturning Prespa in any meaningful way, and failure to move forward with implementing the Agreement would put North Macedonia in a disadvantageous position.” And he continued with his lies stating “Certainly there are signals that this will create problems for North Macedonia on its European path, as well as signals that it will create resistance for North Macedonia and in the context of NATO.”
As I wrote the other week, Palmer lies. Period. On the subject of Macedonia in NATO, once Macedonia is in NATO, it cannot be removed from NATO. So when Macedonians finally do change their name back to what they have always called their land — Macedonia — then their NATO membership stays intact, even though Palmer is threatening that membership in his above quote. Expect this to continue. Palmer, of course, will be gone at some point — and hopefully soon — so his talking points will be handed down to the next so-called diplomat in the State Department who will continue using such language and making such threats.
Which brings me back to where I started with perseverance and Chambers. Macedonians are experiencing disappointment right now, but in that disappointment, Macedonians are being purified and prepared for the battles to come. The battle to hold on to your name, identity, dignity and entire way of life does not end because the threats to these precious things do not end, ever. If there is any solace in this news it is that all peoples and all nations go through this, to greater or lesser degrees. With Macedonia and the Macedonians, it appears to be a greater degree.
And that should lead us all to recommit to perseverance. And that starts with a foundation — the family — and then expands in ever-widening circles out from there to the mediating institutions of society — everything between the individual and the state, because these institutions — starting with the foundation of the family — serve to mold, shape, and build character; they help us learn self-control and know why limits are vital in our own lives and in society; and they create standards, the standards by which we as individuals, and as society, can improve ourselves and society. And that is what Macedonia and Macedonians need in order to be able to persevere.