What would my faith be like if my nation wasn’t free? What if all of my freedom, physical freedom, was stripped away? Would I still believe in God’s sovereignty?
If I didn’t live in this country, how different would things be now? I have the freedom to sleep in, to pick what colleges to apply to, to wear what I want when I want, to be exactly who I want to be and take whatever path I want in order to get there. I can succeed and thrive. I can be better, own more, be worse, and own less. I can think and say what I please, write what I please, learn and experience what I please. I can read any book I want and have whatever opinion about it I choose. I can buy what I want with the money I earn from the job that I choose. I can pray in public before I eat at a restaurant. I can carry a Bible around with me and read it in a park filled with people. I can blog about Jesus and His saving grace and do it without fearing someone bursting through my door, threatening my life and the life of my family.
I thank God, today and every day before it and after it, for these freedoms and all the other ones that I take for granted on a daily basis. I thank Him for creating me American, for this country, this Land of the Free. I thank Him for the Constitution and our founding fathers. I thank Him for everything beautiful about beautiful America, and even for everything wrong with it. I thank Him for the Pledge of Allegiance and for those magnificent stars and stripes that fly in the wind outside my house. I thank Him for small towns like mine filled with people who hold God, family, honor, and patriotism as their priorities in life.
We can complain about gas prices. We can rave and argue about politics. We can fan girl over British boys and swoon at Scottish accents. We can want to travel the world and see places beyond our home, our America. But when it comes right down to it, regardless of the mistakes of our politicians, the spinelessness of our leaders, the apathy of our citizens, our countrymen are proud and honorable, our soldiers are strong and courageous, our patriots are passionate and true. Memorial Day, as I’m sure you’ve heard many times today and throughout this weekend, is not just for barbeques and sun tanning, but it’s to see these things as fruits of freedom, privileges that not everyone has.
Today I sat outside in the sun on my back porch, reading North & South, eating an apple. This was after observing the Memorial Day parade that marched through Main Street, after the ceremony to honor our fallen soldiers, our veterans, and all who are serving as I write these words to you now. And as I sat there, I asked the question of how different my faith would be if I didn’t live in America.
I know at least six brave men in my life who have served in the armed forces, some of which are still serving today. My brother, who’s only twelve years old, is preparing to go into the Marines when he’s older, and, while I’m scared to death, I stand in awe of the men, the soldiers, he will train and desire to be like. So, along with, I hope, the rest of America, I want to say thank you. Thank you for fighting for my freedom, for putting yourself in indescribable situations filled with unfathomable danger so that I can live freely. Thank you for not letting your fear get in the way of serving your country. Thank you for taking pride in your country, even though your country sometimes forgets the pride they should take in you.
God bless America.