This weekend, we (here in America) celebrated the Fourth of July – also known as Independence Day. And while you might not think that fireworks and flags have to do with Jesus – well, I’m out to prove that I can make anything churchy.
I love the Fourth. I’ve experienced it in places as big as Boston and as small as Covecrest. No matter where I go, though, there’s always the same emotion in my heart: gratitude. I’m not simply thankful for getting to watch a good show or pig out on hot dogs; I’m thankful that I get to be American, thankful that I have freedom.
But freedom isn’t just something political, oh no. Freedom is a Divine gift. Through the gift of free will, God gives the unbelievable power of freedom. But what is freedom really? What does it mean to be free? I used to think it meant being able to do whatever you wanted. When I was in grade school, I couldn’t wait to grow up and be “free.” Then I could go wherever I wanted… do whatever I wanted.
When I actually grew up, I realized that responsibility comes with freedom. I could drive myself around and leave the house, but I needed to remember to tell my parents where I was going. I could pick out my own clothes, but now I needed to get the money to buy them myself.
See, freedom is a lot like power; it comes with responsibility. God’s given us the ability to choose what we want to do. We can sin, we can love God, we can dance in the lukewarm waters of indecision – really whatever we want to do. But just like I knew that I needed to call my parents while I was out driving, we know what we need to do with our moral decisions. This is the fundamental difference between can and should. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should. That’s why I have a brain, and that’s why I have free will.
In this summertime season of giving thanks for our country, don’t forget to give thanks to God for the gift of freedom. And use it! Get out there and make some good decisions, help some people, and make your country (and world) a better place.
See you next time I visit Bloggonia!