It’s July 4th, and before I go eat lots of food and watch fireworks, I’m taking a little time to think about the reason we celebrate July 4th.
Because some men decided 238 years ago that British control wasn’t working for them and they wanted to go a different direction, I get to be part of a country that has always valued its freedom more than life itself. Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence either lost their considerable fortunes, were imprisoned, or lost their lives for what they did. Many more died fighting to make the United States of America a reality.
Our country’s commitment to freedom is a large part of the reason we as a country have enjoyed prosperity like most of the world has never known. I’m not sure people understand or appreciate that as much as we used to. I’m pretty sure our current government doesn’t (and that includes both parties).
From what I know, the origin of the principles of freedom that this country was built on were meant to mirror God’s design for the world. I haven’t read all the writings of the founding fathers, but from what I have studied, it seems that they valued free will in much the same way God does. As a country, we would do well to respect free will. Most attempts by humanity to stop people from exercising their free will have not turned out well. People are not perfect; God is. When we try to take control of other people, whether on a personal level or globally, it just doesn’t work out well. It seems to me we have spent all of world history relearning this lesson generation by generation. I know that on a personal level, I need to relearn it myself every once in a while.
So I hope that today, we all take a few minutes to thank God for the part He had in making this great country of ours. And then I hope we take a few more minutes to think about what we can do to make sure that it stays that way.
As my 8-year-old said to me way too early this morning, Happy 4th of July! (She’s now singing the national anthem and decorating her room red, white and blue)