On this July 4th, I am thankful for these three things. At this time of year, we celebrate our freedom and independence. Many people have died in gaining and preserving our freedom, and we should not forget their sacrifice.
The people who searched out a new land wanted something different. They did not want anyone telling them what they had to do or what they couldn’t do. The freedoms we enjoyed at the time our nation was founded were unknown to the rest of the world. The book The 5000 Year Leap describes 28 beliefs our founding fathers held about humanity that transformed a people into a new and different nation. Among them were…
- A Constitution should protect the people from the frailties of their rulers.
- A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power by the different branches of government.
- Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained by the people.
- The burden of debt is as destructive to human freedom as subjugation by conquest.
- Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.
What if everyone were knowledgeable of these founding principles? How would our citizenry act? What would they allow from their elected leaders? I was educated in public schools and I only found out about these founding principles a few years ago.
“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.”
― Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
We must continue to educate and inspire our youth about the founding principles of this the most generous nation in history.
“I am exceedingly anxious that this Union, the Constitution, and the liberties of the people shall be perpetuated in accordance with the original idea for which that struggle was made, and I shall be most happy indeed if I shall be an humble instrument in the hands of the Almighty, and of this, his almost chosen people, for perpetuating the object of that great struggle.”
– Abraham Lincoln, February 21, 1861, speech to the New Jersey Senate
Without freedom, none of this would be possible.
I am grateful for my family. That includes all of them: my family of origin, the wonderfully large family I married into, and my family of progeny. They say that family is all we have. If so, then it would be enough.
“What distinguishes a normal family isn’t the absence of problems, but a functional structure for dealing with them.”
– Salvador Minuchin
Every family is unique. They aren’t perfect, but they get the job done. Families shape us, knock off the rough edges, refine us and provide a jumping off point for many events in life.
“Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible – the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family.”
– Virginia Satir
Without family, none of this would be possible.
In October, 2013 I was laid off. I was one among many in this country who had lost their job. I struggled with God’s reasoning, but who am I to understand his ways.
“Lo, these are but the outskirts of his ways: And how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand?”
– Job 26:14
Since then, my private practice has been blessed beyond measure, I am enjoying my family more, I have less stress (at least my wife says so), and have found new passions in life. God knew what he was doing, I just had to have faith in His plan. Once I did, everything fell into place in ways I could never have imagined. We have been so blessed, and all of the glory goes to God.
“A man’s steps are directed by the LORD. How then can anyone understand his own way?”
– Proverbs 20:24
I have always had my faith, but the Lord always finds ways to firm it up time and again in my life.
“Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently search for him.”
– Hebrews 11:6
Without faith, none of this would be possible.
Enjoy your freedom today and this weekend. Spend time with your family, even if it is just on the phone or by Skype. Have faith and be thankful for what you have been given. Your freedom is precious; treasure it every day.