Of course, the Fourth of July is a celebration of America’s adoption of The Declaration of Independence, back in 1776. It’s a wonderful time to get together with family and friends, and celebrate by enjoying some great BBQ, and watching the fireworks; but I also think it’s a good day for a little bit of reflection.
We all know there are serious issues facing America today. Many prejudices still run rampant, so deeply held that they lead to violence. There are still too many hungry, too many homeless, too many struggling under crushing debt, too many unable to meet the basic needs of their families. People have lost their homes, their retirements, and the next generation worries they will not be able to leave their children better off then they themselves started. There are threats of terrorism. There is corruption both in government and private companies. And there is endless debate, sometimes to the point of what seems like a stalemate, on how to handle some of the most vital issues facing us as a nation. Sometimes, it sure doesn’t feel like we’ve found much in the way of solutions.
In the midst of the mess, it’s sometimes hard to remember how blessed we are as a nation. And truly, we are blessed. I don’t say this to downplay they violence, financial struggles, and numerous vital policy choices we face as a nation. This is serious business and we must keep fighting to correct many injustices. But, maybe in the midst of the fight it’s important to remember to count our blessings as well.
We live in a country that’s founding principles include freedom and rights for it’s people. Freedom of speech, freedom to worship as you believe, the right to a fair trial, the right to assemble. And, whatever you think about the military verses the education budge, or whether or not we should be part of this war or that conflict; we do have a military that goes out into our big scary world and protects us and our freedoms. (Thank you too all who have serves and those who are serving now. Please know you are deeply appreciated and regularly in my prayers.)
There are places in the world today where the rights we take for granted are nothing more then a dream. There are places, today, where people live under very really threat of violence for having political opinions contrary to the ruling regime. There are placed today where people face death for being a bit different then the ideal citizen.
So, while you enjoy good company this Saturday, don’t forget to count your blessings, our blessings. If you’re a believer take a moment to pray for wisdom for our leaders so they can help guide us towards solutions for our biggest problems that we still face. Don’t forget to take a moment to raise a glass to our military, our firefighters, our policemen, our doctors, our nurses, our teachers, all those who serve and make us strong.
And don’t forget to enjoy the BBQ. Happy Fourth of July.
In case you are looking for a recipe or two…
Gluten Free/ Dairy Free Brownies that don’t suck!