Friday, July 3, 2009

Independance Day-An Essay

Over the last few years I have taken a journey. I have come, what some might say, full circle. I don't know what it is, other than disgust and distrust. I will try to explain.

I used to have a heart full of pride to be an American. I used to cry when I heard the "Star Spangled Banner". My heart lept for joy at saying the "Pledge of Allegiance". I used to look forward to these types of holidays in which we expressed our sense of pride and paid our respects to those that paid the ultimate price. Somehow, though, I can't anymore. I don't seem to be able to muster those feelings any longer, which causes pause for reflection.

Independence Day (for I refuse to call it "the Fourth"), is a day that had been set aside to remember one thing. The day we declared our Independence from Great Britain. Somehow, it has morphed into a day of many meanings. I dare say it has become just another day off from work and an excuse for excess.

But, I began thinking on this and found myself reflecting on the word "Independence". We used to call "the Fourth" that, you know. Memories come to mind of my wife's and my honeymoon out east. We took a day trip to visit Valley Forge, you know, the place where Washington and his men spent a winter, nearly starving to death, if not freezing to death? Forgive my sarcasm, but, I can't help feeling a bit dismayed at the lack of knowledge on this subject and the importance of it. Back to Valley Forge. As we walked around the grounds and viewed the crude huts the men lived in, and visited the homes that had been commandeered by the generals, I got a serious pang in my stomach and lump in my throat. That was even before we saw the monument with all the names of all the men who served their country on it during that winter. It was a very tough time, indeed.

Yes, many men abandoned and went home, but, many more stayed to fight on, including Mr. Washington, himself. Why? What kept them there? I can come up with no other reason than they had committed themselves to a cause that they believed in. One that they decided was worth starvation and frost bite, or, a bullet. Stout men, all of them. I doubt that I would have the courage and commitment they had. They stayed to be free. Free from the heavy hand of a government that thought of them as merely slaves to make them more money, taxation without representation. I can almost see them crying and longing to be home with their families who needed them, but, determined to carry on so that those very families might live in peace, on their own land, making a way for themselves. The selflessness is very apparent.

I can't celebrate Independence Day in the way I would like. We are no longer independent, as a nation, but, dependant. Dependant on a nanny government, fully willing to let that nanny feed us and clothe us and fulfill our every need. We are complacent, at best, and indolent, at worst. Lulled to sleep by the hand of provision and the gentle rocking of the cradle.

So, on these types of holidays, I choose to reflect on what my country used to be, praying that the men of Valley Forge and the Revolution did not die in vain. Yet, I fear, they have. Now that brings a tear to my eye. I pray that our nation's leaders would be saved from their sin and flesh, repent, and restore what this great nation used to stand for, freedom. The freedom to worship an Almighty God and honor those around you and build a life for your family and leave a heritage for posterity.

I like to think that the "American spirit" is not dead, but it may be on life support. Wake up from your slumber, America, your home has been looted and your treasured possessions are gone. God will only bless America to the degree that we obey Him. His Word is truth and His Word is perfect and His Word will save your soul from eternity in hell.

I will not be around this weekend to post here, so thank you for reading these vain ramblings and for frequenting this humble blog. I'll see you Monday.

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