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GOD & TEXAS: Neglected Alamo

The Alamo in San Antonio is rightly named the “Cradle of Texas liberty.” This Catholic mission was first established in East Texas, and was later moved to San Antonio around 1719 where it was known as the Mission del San Antonio de Valero. By 1836, the Alamo church and convent were enclosed in a wall that was eight feet high, and two and a half feet in breadth. It was built to encircle 1,000 men plus animals and supplies.

With around 200 fighters, Texian commander William B. Travis could not protect such a vast structure against the thousands of Mexican soldiers led by General Santa Anna. After the vicious battle, the Alamo and surrounding buildings were in ruins, and the area was soon neglected by local residents. In 1849, the Army moved into it, and while clearing the rubble found several more bodies of valiant fighters.

The Army moved out when the Civil War began, and the Alamo had a series of occupants that used this sacred area to warehouse animals, pile trash, and as a general store with groceries and meat. One tenant had his name painted on the Alamo exterior wall and hung hog carcasses in the cool, dark interior of the old stone church. By 1890, a city police substation was built against the southwest external wall of the church.

Finally, in 1903, school teacher Adina de Zavala and philanthropist Clara Driscoll took the initiative to save the Alamo and to restore its honor. In 1905, Texas Governor Samuel Lanham signed a resolution to preserve the Alamo as a sacred memorial to the heroes who sacrificed themselves on that hallowed ground.

Further, the Daughters of the Republic of Texas were to serve as caretakers of the Alamo with the responsibility to restore maintain it. When you visit the Alamo today, breathe a prayer of thanks to Clara Driscoll, Adina de Zavala, and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas for daring to rescue the neglected fortress.

Neglect is a death sentence. Something that has great promise deteriorates under the weight of selfish negligence. It is true with historic buildings, and with our spiritual life. When a person neglects relationship with God, that spiritual life deteriorates like the old Alamo did. Unless something is done to restore it to honored status, it will be lost.

It was Nehemiah who saw that Children of Israel had neglected God when he said, “Why is the House of the Lord forsaken (Nehemiah13:11)?" Jesus reprimanded the religious leaders for majoring on minors when they had neglected to teach the full Word of God (Matthew 23:23). The Apostles had neglected the widows (Acts 6:1-4), and Paul charged us to “not neglect the spiritual gift that is within you (1 Timothy 4:14)."

The Alamo stands as a neglected treasure that was rescued by love. If your spiritual life has been neglected, revive your love for God and seek him today.

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