For personal reasons, this year's celebration of Independence Day holds a slightly different meaning and challenge.
"We hold these truths to be self evident, 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." (Declaration of Independence)
As I consider the concept of independence, in what way am I being challenged at this moment in time? More importantly for me, in what ways does this independence align best with God's dream for me?
What is life-giving for me? What infuses energy into my being each day? What activity allows my freedom of expression? What do I enjoy doing so much that I don't look at the clock? It is in these activities that God's dream for me is perceived.
Are there restrictions that have restrained my liberty? These could be self-imposed or even the expectations of others. How can I more fully embrace the liberty that Jesus so unselfishly walked the earth and shed His blood to emulate for me?
Happiness. What is it exactly? Is it a new possession, position or right in this world as culture suggests? Happiness is an emotion that I experience when my actions are most often counter-cultural in nature.
Happy Independence Day! I am excited about the possibilities that a newfound freedom has presented for me at this time in my life. May we all cherish and hold sacred the responsibilities and gifts that this independence offers to us.