If we continue to follow after the the things of the world, we miss opportunities to live out true Love today. If we are always living in the familiar and the comfortable, we miss the true rewards that come with challenges and change. If we are always looking backwards, we miss the true pervasiveness of God’s grace in front of us .” …the Kingdom of God is among you.” Luke 17:20-37
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As we approach the 4thof July I’d like to begin this week talking a bit about Independence. As a citizen, we don’t always take the time to understand what it really means to have independence. According to the American Heritage dictionary, it has several similar meanings. One definition of independence, which is my personal favorite, is having sufficient income to enable one to live without working. Wouldn’t that be sweet? Some of us enjoy this kind of independence from birth while the rest of us strive towards such independence in our older years. A second definition means not to be governed by a foreign power. This is probably what the forefathers of our nation had in mind when drafting the Declaration of Independence. The repeated injuries and abuses by the King of Great Britain impelled the States to separate from the bonds of government, which subjected them to what they believed was absolute despotism. Still, another definition is to be free from the influence, or control of others. Was it not the hope of our parents before us, as it is for us as parents today, that our children grow to be free from the influence and control of others, particularly from those who purposely mislead and destruct? Although we are apart of an establishment, the government of the United States, we encourage our children to be leaders and independent thinkers. While our constitution is not perfect, it does provide us opportunity (although perhaps not necessarily equal) to expect these inalienable rights that are deserving and the right of every human being. I say all this because I believe Independence Day is a great opportunity to compare the physical against the spiritual.