All this week, the radio station I listen to was asking people to call in to tell them about a “moment of American pride” they’ve experienced. There were many moving stories from airline personnel who had the privilege of flying soldiers home to a soldier who was deployed eight weeks before September 11, 2001 and returned home for the first time last September (nine years later) when he finally got to meet his child whom his wife was pregnant with when he left.
Of course, it got me to thinking about my own American pride or lack thereof. I’m not a person of politics. I don’t understand it and I’m certain that any person who enjoys a successful political career has sacrificed too much of their character to get where they are. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the freedom I have merely because I was born in this country or the military personnel who sacrifice more than I could comprehend so that I can continue to enjoy those freedoms. Despite what the current history books may say, this country was founded and shaped by people who loved and served God and wanted to provide a place where everyone had the right and ability to do the same. With that in mind, I began to think about the things I enjoy in my daily life because God blessed me to be an American citizen in this day and age.
Today, I woke up in a somewhat comfortable bed in my own room in my own air-conditioned apartment. I enjoyed the blessing of indoor plumbing complete with clean, hot and cold running water. I had a closet full of clothes to choose from as I dressed this morning in the light emanating from the electric lighting that comes standard in American homes. I had a kitchen full of food to choose my breakfast from and when I was done, I took the medication and vitamins I take each morning. (That reminds me, I need to run down to the local pharmacy and pick up a refill later – something else I am blessed to be able to do). As if that was not enough – God has blessed me with a car that works and a job to drive it to. I don’t need to worry about whether there will be lunch and dinner tonight. I didn’t have to worry about being dragged out of my house and beaten or arrested because I was reading my bible this morning and I have no fear of approaching my church on Sunday morning to worship the God who provided all these blessing for me to enjoy. To continue - I will be spending time with my family later, all who are relatively healthy and enjoy the same blessings I do. Since this is supposed to be a short devotional – I’ll stop there, but oh the blessings I could list here simply because God brought people to this land in search of the freedom to serve him and provided brave warriors who have been and are willing to sacrifice their lives so that we who remain can praise God for his blessings.
May you be blessed this Fourth of July weekend and as you are, don’t forget to praise the God who blessed you. And while you’re at it, say a word of thanks to veterans and to those in the military who have given so much to ensure your ability to receive those blessings freely. God bless America!
About the photos: Red: Phipps Conservatory May 2009 White: Blackwater Falls May 2010 Blue: Niagra Falls, Canada August 2008