Let freedom never perish in your hands.”
Happy Independence Day, friends! What a blessing to have this important national holiday fall on Encouraging Word day! I’ll be at camp with church kids the rest of this week, so a holiday Word is what you get! Enjoy!
My best memories of the 4th of July as a child and teen involve corn, always corn. My mother taught summer school every year, so July 4 was the best day in early summer to freeze corn, so we did. Dad and I would collect 2 or 3 bushels of corn early that morning and we would shuck and silk all day long; mom would cut and freeze. As a child I considered this work a chore but soon enough I began to appreciate the benefits of the work: fun fellowship, great food, and feelings of accomplishment. This work even carried on for years after my dad died, but sometime in my mid-20s when I moved out of that home the work ended. Other things took the place. The whole experience perished in my hands and I still grieve for it.
Our quote today reminds us that we are guardians, protectors, of freedom. So much of what takes place in our national conversations (arguments too often) are debates about freedom. We must never take it for granted and we must forever be willing to work and sacrifice and compromise for it lest it perish in our hands. But I am struck just how true that is for every good gift in our lives. Consider your relationships, your health, your achievements, your joys, your everything good and great. Might they, by indifference or inattention or ineptitude, also perish in your hands? God forbid.
Importantly we have a day every year to remind us to cherish freedom but few other institutional opportunities exist to remind you to cherish everything else of value in your life. You hold these blessings in your hands. The life and continuity of these blessings are yours to protect, guard and enrich. You and you alone know what they are, so you and you alone can protect them. Perhaps make a list today of what matters to you. Perhaps imagine actions you can take to maintain and protect them. Now move beyond perhaps to certainly make certain that nothing you value perishes in your hands. I think I’ll join you! Have a great week, friends!