Have you ever watched that movie, The Day After Tomorrow?

It’s a disaster movie released in 2004 with Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhaal, where a new ice age is upon the world and a father is trying to reach his son amidst it all. Out of that whole movie, there’s one scene I still remember the most: Dennis Quaid’s character is a paleoclimatologist, and once the storm hits he draws a line on a map, straight across all the northern American states lining the border with Canada. He says, “Everyone above this line is dead.”

“Welp, guess that means all of Canada is dead. Again,” I would think, just like so many other disaster or action movies. Either that or “Secretly, all of Canada has in fact survived due to stereotypes about Canadians living in igloos and taking sled dogs to school.” (Although I did have cousins who regularly participated in sled dog racing.) Regardless, I always thought it was funny, yet a bit sad. I guess Canada is known for things other than saving the day in blockbuster films (though, I still always wish Canada could save the day in a movie sometime!).

In honour of Canada Day (today, July 1st, 2017, which also marks 150 years of Canada as an awesome country) let me tell you a few things that we are known for:

There are some pretty great things, even if many of them are unsung. We tend to do many things quietly, like produce hordes of hockey players, singers, actors/actresses, and inventions such as insulin, hockey, basketball, garbage bags, peanut butter, zippers, Superman, snowblowers, paint rollers, walkie talkies and much more. We’re also the second largest country in terms of landmass and have a plethora of other positive stats in terms of quality of life going for us. We’re home to people of all kinds of nationalities and cultures. And of course, in terms of the stereotypical, we seem to be known as the nice, polite guys up North with hockey, maple syrup, free health care, some funny accents and a few other things. Not bad, eh?

Even those stereotypes are largely true in many ways for many people. After all, when I was living in South Korea, my family did send me maple syrup, maple cookies (which are one of my kryptonites), and Tim Hortons coffee. I did hunt and find poutine in Korea (though most of them were understandably lacking). Whenever another foreigner or Korean would assume I was American, I would politely yet firmly correct them (no offense, America, but I just really like Canada). I do in fact say “sorry” a lot, but I’m pretty sure that’s not just me, and though I think the distinct accents are more reserved for our East Coast relatives, I do say “Eh” a heck of a lot.

But there is another thing about Canada, and I don’t think as many people – even Canadians – know this one: our anthem has God written all over and in it. Highlighted below is the 1st and 2nd verses of our anthem, along with the directly-translated words from the original French:

 

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I’m borrowing this graphic from my church 🙂 

 

Wouldn’t it be great if we were known for those past parts of the anthem too?

Whenever us Canadians sing our anthem, everyone knows the first verse because that’s the entirety of the “Official Version” now. But! There are actually three more verses that are just as great, and it’s only recently that I’ve been rediscovering this part of our history that most of us Canucks seem not to remember. It’s a shame, really, that they’ve been dropped. Personally, I think it would awesome and lovely if we could sing those three extra verses every time!

A tiiiny history side note, since you’re here and I love to tell people tidbits about my country:

The first version of our anthem (written by Adolphe-Basile Routhier in 1880) was in French, and a number of English versions of it were sung until 1908, when Robert Stanley Weir wrote the most common (and still persevering) English version – that wasn’t directly translated from French.

Anyhow! Wouldn’t it be great if every time a hockey game went on and the Canadian anthem was played, we sang until that awesome fourth verse? What if Canada was also known for its Godly heritage? And what if that part of our reputation wasn’t unsung? What if it was known, and boldly so?

Ruler Supreme, Who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion within Thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in Thee,
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day
We ever stand on guard.”

I love my country, but it’s not often enough that we hear of this foundation of faith that Canada has, and was built on. It’s not often enough that we truly remember to stand firm in the faith-filled foundations of our country.

You or I may not agree with some things our respective countries or its leaders do, but we can certainly pray for them! That’s something we can always do, whether our country’s histories were steeped in faith or not. It starts with you and me, praying for the country we find ourselves in, and standing firm in our faith – not bending like a branch in the wind.

I thank God that I live in a country that is free, that is known for helping others in various capacities, and that was founded upon a firm and true faith. That’s something I want to work to uphold and spread because I’m both a proud Canadian and follower of Christ.

I want Canada to be known for more than just hockey and maple syrup and being nice, as great as those things are. I want us to be known for standing on guard for both our country and our faith, being secure in the foundation this country was built on – Christ. “…if you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all,” (Isaiah 7:9). Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. And do everything with love,” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).

I refuse to let my faith be bent or changed by anything else other than my foundation, the same foundation of my country: Jesus Christ.  He’s the real “True North, Strong and Free.” If I want Canada to be known for this, then I’ll start with me – changing my own life, my words and actions, to be ever more like His. And I’ll do it with love and respect.

Next time you find yourself talking with a Canadian, ask them if they know about all four verses of their anthem:

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow,
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow,
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western Sea;
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years,
From East to Western Sea.
Our own beloved native land,
Our True North, strong and free!

Ruler Supreme, Who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our dominion within Thy loving care.
Help us to find, O God, in Thee,
A lasting, rich reward,
As waiting for the Better Day
We ever stand on guard.

 

PS – thanks for stickin’ around to the end of this longer and uber-Canadian post! Sorry if it was too long, eh? 😉

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1 Comment

  1. Greetings from Dad,
    I love the words of the french translation, your arm knows how to wield the sword and the cross, your valor steeped in faith. Powerful words and what a rich, Godly history of Canada that seems to be forgotten. Thanks for the reminder, favorite daughter of mine:)

    Liked by 1 person

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