Happy 4th of July! Although this may not get posted until after midnight, I am starting it while it is still the 4th. :) I had a wonderful day relaxing with a couple from my church (my youth leaders and good friends) and playing with their adorable 16 month boy. We had a bbq, played croquet, talked, and then went out on our boat to watch a great firework show! It was a wonderful day.
Sitting on the boat tonight I was reflecting over the day and realized that sadly most holidays have a tendency to become so removed from their original meaning. Many people just love the day off of work, a chance to vacation, good food, family and friends. Yet, today was a celebration of our country's beginning. We watch fireworks, but how many of us really think back to the substance behind the symbol (the Revolutionary War)? And what about all the other wars, hardships, successes, great moments, and tragedies that our country has been through? Today is a celebration of being American, our country's foundation, growth, and all the men and women who gave their lives (both dying and serving) for that. America has come so far since the Pilgrims landed, since Paul Revere rode through the night to warn of the British, since a civil war over slavery almost tore this country in two, since expansion towards the west, since the first plane flight at Kittyhawk, since the Great Depression, since 2 World Wars, since segregation, since walking on the moon. If you can't tell, I love American history. I think I would be content living in any era of our fascinating past. The culture, clothes, music, and lifestyles of each period amaze me and to see the transformation over time is really fun for me. These things make me proud to be an American!
However, with all the cool and wonderful changes also come changes for the worse. Sadly, many freedoms that were once SO important to our founding fathers are now declared unconstitutional. The faith and beliefs that America was based on are now torn out of schools, courthouses, and phrases. People often say "God Bless America" but I don't see any reasons why He should. We (as a whole nation) kill millions of babies, do not uphold traditional marriage, encourage materialism, practice sexual immorality, and continuously turn our backs on God. We want Him out of textbooks, the Pledge of Allegiance, and erased from monuments and yet we still expect him to "Bless America"? Is it just me, or is that really twisted? These things make me ashamed to be an American (especially when the rest of the world looks at us and calls us a "Christian" nation. Sure we're based on Christian beliefs but we're not very Christian anymore.).
Don't get me wrong, I am still thankful to live in America where we have so many opportunities and can worship God without persecution (at least without physical persecution, and at least for now). However, I only see it getting worse.
Sorry if that rained on your patriotic parade at all. I do love our country and am truly grateful for our military and the sacrifices they (and their families) make. I am amazed by all the great things this country has done. But like I said before, bad comes along with the good and since I am so passionate about the good, how can I ignore the bad? Well, as things do get worse, may other things continue to get better!
I hope you all had a wonderful Independence Day! I hope you reflect back on all that our country has been through-the good and the bad-because it is all part of who/what America is today.