What does your heart tell you?
This weekend, we will gather with friends and family and fill up backyards and picnic grounds. Smoke from barbeque grills will waft through neighborhoods. Distinctly American food will cover the tables. Hamburgers, hotdogs, baby-back ribs, corn on the cob, baked beans, potato salad, watermelon and ice-cream. A lot of fun will be had.
Americans will once again enjoy their gift of freedom and their lives of abundance. When the sun sets on the land of the free, crowds of perfect strangers will stand together and watch celebratory fireworks displays. Together, they will ooh and ah to the visual gratification of brilliant, but momentary, flashes of exploding fireworks. What will they feel in their hearts? When the fireworks end, there will be a dash for the parking lots so as to get home ahead of the traffic. As fast as this day wrapped in red, white and blue arrived, it will be gone. Like Christmas, the true meaning and purpose of it likely not considered.
With bellies full and senses satisfied, the populace will grudgingly concede that the holiday is over and tomorrow will be just another hum-drum day of drudgery. Another day spent doing the job, if they are among the group fortunate to have one, which feeds the family and provides the economic fuel for our country.
Will the meaning of this day cause a fireworks display in their collective hearts? Will there be an internal and thankful celebration of Independence Day? Will we collectively have given any thought to the real meaning of this day? Will it inspire us to grab hold of all that is good about the United States of America? Will we insist that no man may take from us what God has provided?
How long has it been since you have read the Declaration of Independence? It may be the appropriate time for it. And contemplate its meaning. What does it mean to you personally? If you do that, it may light the fuse to that internal fireworks display. Written in the classical English of the day, one often has to pry out the meaning of the words. You may not read it as I do or take away from it the same meaning, but give it your own try. It is difficult to defend, or if you are so inclined to attack, what you do not comprehend. I can remember shying away from reading the Bible in my younger days because I knew that when I opened it up there would be a big finger in my chest reminding me of my shortcomings. I assure you, it is more akin to a fatherly arm around your shoulder. Read our founding document with that thought in mind and add some urgency to the words.
I find the statements in the document incredible. It declares right up front that all men have a separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of the nature’s God entitle them – separate from, but equal to every other man. In other words it describes individual liberty. It repeats that thought again when clearly declaring that these laws of nature to which we are entitled manifest in the self-evident truths that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.
The signers declared unequivocally that the unalienable rights to which all men on earth are entitled are the laws of nature, the laws of nature’s God, endowed to us by our Creator. Our Creator who is also nature’s God. They declared that the unalienable rights to which men are entitled came with God’s creation and are not any creation of man. With that opening statement the founders set the corner stone to our national foundation.
It goes on to explain that governments are instituted amongst men with the consent of the governed for the purpose of preserving these unalienable rights. The government that we form and the people we select from among us to govern have no purpose other than the preservation of our rights. Whenever the government becomes “destructive of those ends”, in other words when they attempt to remove rather than protect those unalienable rights, then it is our right to send them packing.
…when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security…
The signers of the Declaration of Independence affirmed their belief in their purpose with this closing statement.
And for the Support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honour.
The United States of America is the only country on the planet founded on the principle of God given unalienable rights to which men pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to protect and defend. Nowadays, we can barely find men who are willing to make the following pledge to these enduring principles.
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
Whenever you feel like asking God to bless America, think of the freedoms and abundance that we are allowing to slip away. Then remember that God has blessed America. Maybe it is high time that we returned that blessing.