What do you suppose our Founding Fathers were thinking 244 years ago when they were drafting the Declaration of Independence? They knew that by signing their name on the bottom line, they could be hanged by the British Monarchy for treason. They knew they were putting their very lives on the line to stand for purpose, principle and freedom. (If you haven’t read it ever, or it’s been a while, I encourage you to do so.)
You may know, I’m Irish. My forefathers escaped from the tyranny of England. They fled a famine, poverty and systemic abuse by the ruling class. They came to the New England area, specifically around Boston. Huddled, underfed, miserably poor, they were used to working hard to stay alive. They came with optimism.
The were greeted with signs that said: “IRISH NEED NOT APPLY”.
And you know what? They prayed, they stuck together and they found their way in this great land of ours. Sure, there were some who thought we Irish were the most despicable, filthy peasants imaginable. With persistence, determination and relentless conviction my ancestors believed the words in the Declaration that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”
As we wrestle with some very challenging situations this 4th of July, let’s not forget the countless journeys, sacrifices and victories many have waged for subsequent generations. We can reflect on what unites us, rather than on what we disagree.
How about if we recognize where freedom really comes from…God. Let’s rejoice in his amazing gift that is limitless.
“Jesus said, “’if you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” John 8:31-32 NIV
Light a sparkler. Wave a flag. Pray for our country.
God bless the USA.