Firecrackers popping, potato salad made. Soda Pop is in the cooler covered with ice and we congregate as friends together to watch the evening fireworks.
The 4th of July
it is one of our nation’s favorite holidays.
It is a favorite because it represents freedom, independence and liberty. We are free to be our own person, free to move around and make our own choices. We have autonomy and self-determination. Our liberty was bought with blood and sweat and tears by those who came before us. That liberty assures us that we are free from the control and restrictions of a despotic or arbitrary government control.
When that freedom and independence is applied to our personal life, we are challenged to do something productive and constructive with that freedom.
We can use that freedom to destroy or to build up. We are free to build constructs of caring and compassion and love or to nurse grievances and retaliate when given the opportunity.
We can choose to reach out and help our neighbor, or build higher walls of intolerance to screen out our hatred while hiding behind masks of tolerance and purity.
We cannot legislate love instead of hate, tolerance instead of prejudice. It is a heart thing – not a law thing.
We choose to let love rule instead of hate. We choose to blame or we use what God has given us to build something meaningful.
We choose to pick up the tools of diligence, commitment and determination instead of the tools of finding fault, criticism, and blame.
The one empowers – the other self-destructs. The first will ignite our creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness. The other will destroy us.
What does the 4th of July mean to you? I hope it means more than flags waving, parades, and bands playing. We get caught up in the celebrations and it is easy to gloss over the sacrifices that was made so we could be free.
I pray that God will strengthen each of us to use our freedom and liberty to serve Him, others and work for the good of all. I pray that God will give me the wisdom to make the right choices even when they are tough ones. I pray that God will grant mercy and grace to a nation that so often forgets that He was why we became a great nation in the first place.
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