We live in a great country, where liberty is a comfortable way of life.
We have plenty of clean drinking water and indoor plumbing.
We can buy pretty much whatever we want from the grocery store.
We have hundreds of different churches available for our worship preferences.
We can publicly speak our mind on many topics.
We can vote and get involved in politics to affect change.
Yet today, I ponder how I’ve shown gratitude, or perhaps the lack of gratitude. I’ve been blessed with a home, a job, a family, and the ability to seek and enjoy my passions. In the pursuit of the American dream, have I lost sight of all that was sacrificed for our freedom, and what motivated that sacrifice?
How often do I take my freedom and wealth for granted?
The other day in a brief discussion with a friend, we bemoaned the inconvenience of only having one family car, and it gave me pause. So many families have a single vehicle, or none at all, and yet I was concerned about having to live that way for a few weeks. Humbled by my selfishness, I shot up a quick prayer of thanks to God for allowing my family the privilege of more than one vehicle.
And yet, was that only an afterthought when it should be a way of life?
Perhaps rather than buying the newest electronics or going to the movie theater or eating out once a week, we can spend our money on helping the less fortunate. Perhaps rather than going to a party on Friday night, we can volunteer to take dinner to a sick friend or invite over a hurting family for an evening of fun. Doesn’t the Bible admonish us to reach out to widows and orphans, to help the poor and oppressed? Evil is overcome with good – where am I doing good?
In a letter to Thomas Mercer in 1770, Edmond Burke said “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”
Like the great men who fought to free us from British rule so many years ago, what am I doing to ensure that evil doesn’t triumph here? God forgive me for taking all I have for granted, for hoarding my possessions and my liberty when so many around me have so little!
We live in a great country and we have so much to offer others who are suffering, but too often we focus on ourselves.
This 4th of July, I’m reflecting on where can I be brave and sacrifice in my own life to contribute to make America better.
USA: the land of the free, because of the brave.
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