I think that I am still several chapters behind in my reading, but I am hoping that Natalie Lunsford will keep me straight and I will catch up this week as the rhythms or our lives return to a more normal pace. It is the morning of the 4th of July and I have been thinking about this thing that we call America. I have enjoyed a great advantage throughout my life because I was born in this country. Other generations that lived and died before me provided a form of free public education that has served me well. Others built and established a system of government that protected me and allowed me the freedom to grow and mature without undue pressure to earn a living before I was fully prepared. There were wonderful little country churches that spent time, energy and resources to develop my sense of spirituality and to help me to catch a glimpse of God in the now and in the eternal. Family friends and wonderful teachers have helped me to grow in my knowledge of the world and to gain practical experience in navigating in its troubled waters. The community that I grew up in helped me to see and appreciate the interconnectedness of our world and how I had a responsibility for my neighbor. My mother and my father and others have taught me that there is much more to this world than the human eye can see and we do well to develop the eyes of our hearts as well. I have been loved and cared for by a myriad of influential people who have shaped me and made me more than I could ever have dreamed. I am able now to sit in the early morning sun and to marvel at God's presence around me and to sing at his goodness. I am proud to be an American, but my real longing is to live in a way that honors the goodness of my God and to be able to influence others who come into my life in ways that helps them to develop eyes and ears for the eternal.
"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. O Lord, save us: O lord, grant us success. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. The Lord is God and he has made his light shine upon us."
I pray for America that she would always remember that we have been trusted with a great gift and like all good things, it comes from a wonderful God who expects that we will share our blessing with others. My God bless us all and keep us from the deceiver.