May 31, 2010
Preserving the United States of America
I have spent a lot of emotional energy this year on Memorial Day.
Some of the reason for that is because at times I am overwhelmed with thankfulness, like yesterday in church when all of our service men and women were asked to stand so we could offer our gratitude and respect for them. Literally hundreds of people stood tall and strong, some in uniform and some not. Most had tears in their eyes it seemed...I suspect tears of honor, of deep love for our country, and perhaps some were tears of painful wartime memories.
Sometimes I am stirred, though, because I can feel the sting of many years of not realizing how much so many have sacrificed. I knew that many had lived their entire lives defending our freedom. I even knew that many had died in the very act of defending our freedom. But the fact is, for so many years, I took our liberty for granted. I never considered their cost, because it hadn't cost me a thing.
God, forgive me for being so selfish.
Now, it feels like I'm making up for all those years of not paying attention; not truly remembering people I don't know, those who made a decision early in their lives to protect my freedom to be self-centered. There is an awakening in me the older I get and with the more men and women I see in uniform...with their strong brow of commitment and determination, but tender eyes of compassion and patriotism. And they've known all along what may be required of them, but they serve with courage anyway.
There is one other recurring thought that I will leave you with this weekend:
Why are we, as a nation, now so willing to literally give away what they've fought so hard to preserve?
God, please, help us wake up and be willing to preserve the foundation You prepared for this great country.
Karl Marx once said, "A people without a heritage are easily persuaded." Will we be those people? Will we be easily persuaded because we've allowed our heritage of patriotism and love of country to be displaced by love of self? God help us.
at 10:22 AM