One more celebration of our nation’s independence is in the books. I blogged about oohing and aahing over several fireworks displays and enjoying a small-town parade. But, it was a conversation I had with an old friend today that reminded me again about why freedom is worth celebrating.
Not to bore anyone with a history lesson (because Mr. Grody I am not), but way back in the day … you know, around 1776 or so, John Adams actually said that we should celebrate Independence Day with “pomp and parade, … and illuminations …” But why? I personally don’t have anything against England. It seems like a beautiful place, but apparently the founding fathers felt like we needed to have our own gig. I mean, we aren’t just a drive away and I know at least my own accent (or lack thereof, goshdarnit) is nowhere near as cool. But as awesome as it was to start our own nation, the real reason for celebration is a result of what our forefathers documented … “We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
There were men who fought for our independence initially; for our right to state those truths, and there are still men and women defending the very essence of that sentiment today. So, really we should be celebrating them … and the fact that we’re still able to strive to attain those things.
But, just like those men and the men and women in our armed forces today experience, that freedom came and comes with a price. Just like the famous song says, “All gave some and some gave all …”
That was a long history lesson. I guess my point is that our freedom isn’t free either. We were asked today at church if we knew where we were headed when we die and how we would answer the “why” part of that. I was thinking about what Christ did for us. He DIED. He gave his life up for us … paying the ultimate price. Like a soldier. I guess it only makes sense then that when we become alive in Him, we also DIE. But to ourselves. Shouldn’t that make us feel free? Yes, it should. Free, but in a different way. But for some, it can be very difficult, especially when you’re a type-A, control freak like some
one people I know.
My old friend said something after the service that was so perfect. He said, in essence, “if you don’t feel free, well then, you’re not.” It sounds really simple, but it also made so much sense to me. I don’t feel “free.” I have some things that are holding me back from, well, from pursuing life. These “things” keep me up at night; they invade my thoughts constantly and they also keep me in somewhat of a standstill, stuck, feet in quicksand-like position. I hear that still, small voice occasionally asking/begging/ordering me to just let them go and I continually respond that I want to but ooooh, it’s just so difficult. What if x? Or what happens when y?
So, I guess this is me putting it out there. Just like we should be celebrating our freedom as Americans, I should be celebrating my freedom in Christ, and the blessed life that He is allowing me to live. And not because I’ve “made it,” but because I’m “making it.” I am a work-in-progress, and someday, I hope to tell you that I’m free but I’ve decided that I’m going to start enjoying the process vs. letting those things prevent me from experiencing it. As they say, YOLO (well, here on Earth anyway).
p.s. I know this is vague and may make very little sense, but Jesus told me that was ok.