Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Independence Day

The "whomp" announces the ignition of the blasting powder; the tail of sparks traces the flight of the rocket into the night sky; the sudden burst of color and the thunder of the explosion announce to the world that our country is celebrating its national birthday. Yes, this weekend countless people across North America will crane their necks heavenward and take in the sights and sounds of a yearly fireworks display. For Canadians the celebration of Canada Day is July 1st; for Americans, of course, the celebration kicks off on July 4th, Independence Day. Each year a nationwide barrage of modern rockets are let loose on the summer skies, orchestrated to inspire a sense of wonder and patriotism as exploding colors sparkle the night to the "ohs" and "ahs" of crowds below registering their sense of awe and appreciation. These fireworks remind us the cost of our freedoms came at the expense of the fight our forefathers waged.

Each year I join with my countrymen and find thrills and inspiration at these displays of fireworks. The spectacle also triggers sobering thoughts about the hefty price our freedoms have cost. The cliché "freedom is not free" is one of the world's all-time great truths. Throughout our country's history brave and determined warriors have followed their convictions and fought for the belief that this country's citizens have the right to live free from oppression. Today, that determination of living free is still a hallmark of service in our armed forces. And so it must be. For the battle against tyranny never stops and each generation must take up the cause afresh.

This weekend I will pause to thank and honor those who have fought for me. I am thankful I live in a country where I can worship God freely and openly. I am thankful I live in a country where I am free to express my faith. I am thankful I live in a country where I can share the Gospel openly.

As the dying embers and rocket debris fall to the ground when the fireworks have ended, I will remember that our freedoms are not only earned and protected -- but like muscles, they are to be exercised. I will flex mine by sharing the Gospel through my words and actions -- thankful that Jesus earned my eternal freedom through the life He gave for my -- and the world's -- sins.

Try thinking about that the next time you feel oppressed.

Happy Independence Day!

No comments :