Happy 4th I hear as I am out and about, and every once and awhile “Happy Independence Day”. Admittedly a bit of guilt twangs in my inner man at the hearing of the latter phrase. I am reminded more succinctly that “the 4th” is much more than a Monday holiday to escape the doldrums of day-to-day work life. (and how many still have to work regardless?) Certainly the men and women in uniform are still about the business of paying for our holiday!
I am not looking to ramble down this road of self-inflicted guilt or create a mindset of woe is us, self-pity induced reflections. Celebrate! Yes please celebrate! Get out of your chair, go outside and say “Hi” to your neighbors or perhaps go out and meet your neighbors for the first time! Take in a good, long, deep, invigorating, fill your lungs with life, free, air! Post our flag proudly, in prominence outside your domicile! Take some time and meditate on what your life might look like if it were not for the countless sacrifices of our men and women who for Generations considered the price and found it worth paying! Pause for just a bit, reflecting on our Creator’s unmerited favor, poured out in full measure, indeed overflowing our cups, doing immeasurably more than we could ever hope or imagine!
Do you think about your freedom? I don’t at least not very much, except maybe on the fourth of July or “Veteran’s Day. I’m not proud of that particular truth,(starting to get a little to close to that Man in the Mirror“)
Isn’t that one of the many joys of freedom? Not that it should be taken advantage of, but that one can go through the day without concentrated concern etched into the eyebrows every second, and an all-encompassing weight pressing the burden down like an atlas sized monolith on the soul, squeezing out every responsibility to those who carried the burden before us. Surely that was not their intent or even how they perceived the task. Rather it was taken on as a badge, an honor carried with straight backs and a purposeful stride. Most of all it was propelled forward by commitment, perhaps better known as Love!
Talking to a veteran or the parent of someone on the front lines you get a sense of the pride, not the proud! The humility of putting others before you leaves proud under the back porch, and so too the wallet. This can’t be paid for out of the household budget. Freedom, so simple and yet not free at all. Hug the people around you today and tell them how much you love them, go out tonight and gaze at the expanse above and all it’s glory. Celebrate the moments of realized freedom today and give thanks, because tomorrow will not do it for us!
Blessed Independence Day, Thank you Dad and Grampa and Uncle Ken and Grampa John and Uncle John and Nana Mooney and Uncle George and Cousin Jimmy and …….