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Happy Independence Day to you.

 

I just scoped out the official definitions of the word "independence" in a couple of dictionaries.  One describes it as

"freedom from control or influence of another or others."  Merriam Webster says, in part, that the state of being independent means we are: "not dependent: as (i) (1) not subject to control by others (2) not affiliated with a larger controlling unit (ii) (1) not requiring or relying on something else (2) not looking to others for one's opinions or for guidance in conduct."

 

As a United States Citizen in a world that wars again and again over the availability to its global citizenry of such independence from governmental and political and religious controls, I am humbled in gratitude for those who have pledged or will pledge to commit their lives - even to the point of death - for the freedoms I enjoy as a child of these United States of America, and for the promise these freedoms hold for others throughout the world.  Let us always be in prayer for those who serve in our armed forces and for those who lead them.

 

But, today, with our National celebration of Independence falling on a Sunday, and as I prepare to leave the house for worship, I am intrigued by how the definitions above apply to my faith.  I believe one of God's most amazing gifts to the children of the world is the gift of spiritual independence.  We are free in God to choose God, or to reject God.  How much more beautiful our fellowship with our Creator is because we, in our independent state, choose to love him!

 

Here's the paradox I see, though, in the confluence of my Christian faith and my celebration of independence: As a person created free, I have chosen to love God and accept Christ.  As a result of this choice, I have willingly and thankfully affiliated my life to God's control and Christ's guidance.  As a Christian, I rely on, even require, the direction of one greater than I to help me live out my days on earth.  And the mystery of it all is that, while the dedication of my life to Christ may, on paper, contrast the definitions of independence, I am, when I live my life for Christ, more free than I could ever experience in the bounds of my own person. 

 

Christ said, "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through me." (Jn. 14:6).  And I know the Truth, and the Truth has set me free.  (Jn. 8:32).

Blessings and peace to you as you journey.

Yours in Christ,  

~~Jennifer

07/04/04

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