When someone says "Independence Day" I automatically think of Will Smith and Bill Pullman in the movie. I don't often think of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams or John Hancock - though I should.
Way back in 1776 at the end of the Revolutionary War, gutsy men and women stood for freedom against Great Britain. They put their lives on the line for a free New World. Can you remember pictures in school of Betsy Ross sewing the flag or George Washington standing up in that boat? Their bravery and sacrifices deserve to be remembered at least one day a year!
July 4th is one of my husband's very favorite holidays. He loves the colors red, white, and blue and loves to fly the flag. In fact, we have little American flags in all of our flowerpots on our porch. He is very patriotic and motivates me to be.
Many people overlook July 4th, but, Holy Smokes, it's our country's birthday! If we celebrate our own birthdays, then by all means we should take a moment to remember America's! And it's easy in the middle of summer, and filled with fireworks, sparklers and cook-outs!
Sometimes in America we just plain forget how blessed we are. Oh, we have the traditional "moment" on Thanksgiving where we give thanks to the One who has given us our food, but how much do we really think about our blessings outside of November? It seems like we look at the things we don't have or don't like and forget all the good. What if we started a list of "50 things I love about America"? Could you do it? How long do you think your list would go?
In our Sunday School class a while back, we studied the book of Jonah. He left town quick as a wink when God called him to go out of his comfort zone. Jonah is a lot like us or we are a lot like Jonah. We want to be our own boss. We don't want anybody telling us what to do. We live in America, for Pete's sake! We want to have independence and the freedom to make our own choices and that trickles over into our relationship with God. We are willing to serve Him-as long as it's convenient, change the world-as long as it's not hard, and follow where He leads-as long as it's where we had already planned to go.
But when we accept Christ as our Savior, we are giving up our right to be our own boss. We are actually declaring our dependence on God! That's a good thing. He knows our future and He has plans for it. He created each of us and it wasn't just for fun. It was for good works (Ephesians 2:10). Plus, He's really, really smart!
So we have a choice to make ... and July 4th is a perfect day to do it. Do we want to declare our independence from God (because we are Americans and don't want anyone telling us what to do) or declare our dependence on God (because we're getting smarter all the time and frankly it's hard to do everything on our own)?
If you are a believer and follower of Christ, the day you made that decision is your "Dependence Day". If you don't know Christ, today would be a great day to declare your dependence on Him!
Dawn Reed writes a weekly column for HD Media. She can be contacted at email@example.com.