Our country celebrated our 240th Independence Day, yesterday. We celebrated the freedom that our predecessors fought fiercely for, enabling us to speak our minds and demonstrate our beliefs. To sit down and concentrate on everything it took to achieve the freedom we have would be to realize how much we now take that very freedom for granted. We expect to say whatever we wish and be heard, while our opponents are expecting the same thing. We have taken our Constitution to the mat in regards to Freedom of Speech and our Right to Bear Arms, all the while arguing aver who is right and who is wrong.
The men who fought for and proclaimed liberty, distinctly wrote what that liberty entails. “All men are created equal”…. that’s merely one blazing example that even today, we have difficulty believing. You know it’s true. Look at how we judge each other, talk about each other, and treat each other. In our own eyes, only we are right and to admit we might be wrong is admitting weakness. Those of us who are humble enough to admit we are wrong must work very hard to fight through bitterness in our hearts because of the lack of grace we see or receive from our peers. It’s kind of an “in your face attitude” that we often experience from others when we admit our mistakes.
With that kind of reaction from people, it’s no wonder there is such division in our country. It’s only going to escalate unless we get a hold of our emotions right now. The primary problem isn’t race. It isn’t wealth or education. The primary problem that we all share is pride. We are too proud to stop and help those around us in need. When we do make an effort to help others, we make sure there are lots of people around who will cheer for us and publicize our good deeds. And when we see something we don’t like? We make sure we talk about it with our loudest voices, proclaiming freedom of speech.
All in all, we are too busy exercising our blatant freedoms to sit down and really appreciate all of the intricate freedoms we get to enjoy, also. We get to worship any god we wish, without worry that we will be locked up in jail because of it. It’s true. We may not like each other’s religions, but as long as none of us are breaking the law, we have that freedom to worship in our own way, without hiding. You can’t do that in some countries, but I’m sure you already knew that.
We get to protest our government when we are strongly opposed to any decision(s) made. We can demonstrate to the public without having to worry about the police hauling us off. Granted, we must abide by certain rules, such as peacefully demonstrating and not violently demonstrating. You know what I mean, arbitrarily throwing rocks through the White House windows or taking some innocent person by gunpoint. That does nothing to promote the cause of your demonstrating anyway, it only helps you vent your anger for about two seconds and then lands you into deep doodoo. Not worth it.
We have all of this freedom surrounding us that we take for granted until one day, it will be taken away. When that happens, how will we have any peace? Jesus said some incredible words that made me think of how I can keep my peace even in the midst of turmoil. He said, “My sheep hear My voice, an I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
After reading that, I admit I have to repeat those words in my head over and over just to let the meaning sink in. But the meaning does sink in and I can live on those words during the worst of times. I believe this is how Paul did it when he was imprisoned for so long and I believe this is what we will need in the very near future. These words give us the true freedom we so desperately need after decades of sliding away from the appreciation of the simple freedoms we enjoy.
One day, when the government finally weakens to the point where it is overthrown by outsiders, while we, the public, sit idly by watching passively and talking very loudly. We haven’t done anything about our government’s demise in the last 30 years, why would I believe we would do anything now and in the future? Honestly, by the time we get around to some sort of action, it would be too late. We still have the freedom to vote, but who do we vote for? Our main two political parties have put us in such a predicament that we don’t have much choice. This is where Jesus’ words come into play for me. Whatever happens, I cannot be taken from my God, Who I am free to worship. And if that freedom is taken from me, I will worship anyway. That, my friends, is true freedom.