We celebrate this day – July 4 – as Independence Day because the American forefathers published the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Actual independence from Britain did not come until the Treaty of Paris in 1783. It was in many ways a declaration of war though it had be mounting for some time and was a response to George III “Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition” where he proclaim American congressional leaders at traitors.
Freedom is so valuable, at least to those that don’t have it, that they are willing to write a document that they knew would put themselves and those that they represented in dramatic and real jeopardy.
But this moment in time is like the thinnest part of the hour glass having all the moments of sand that ran before it decisively pouring out into a different future on the other side. Clearly, these men did not take this lightly. There was all sorts of activity beforehand both to prevent this moment and to prepare in case it should come. It was clear to them they were seeking freedom from Britain and to a new government that they would create.
This independent, and somewhat rebellious mindset, is pervasive in our culture – yet those who have freedom seem to take it for granted and to forget it comes at a cost and that the world is hostile to freedom nor does it want it to continue. There is a responsibility of freedom that is not assumed by most as it was by those men that signed that document 237 years ago. What will you be free from and free to move toward and are you willing to pay the cost of of that campaign and is it worth it? Freedom is not comfort.
My mother shared a photo on Facebook yesterday appreciating the men in her life that have served our country and I’m proud to be in that list along with my grandfather, father and son – I am especially thankful to my grandfather who served in WWII and my son who served in Iraq.
Our longing for freedom is deep in our souls – but freedom from what? Or freedom to what? What would it mean to be free? What would you do with that? If you’d like to see my perspective on this as a Christian – check out Jubilee on Viewed Mercies.