I’ve always appreciated the freedom that I have in America. I understood that there were many countries where a women was treated as a second class citizen. There were many countries were the people couldn’t speak out against their government or practice their religion or tell others about their religion and yet I had the ability to do all these things. But it wasn’t until September 11th that I truly understood what it meant to be free and the cost of freedom. I understood at that moment that we would have to go to war to protect our freedom and that made me appreciate freedom all the more because it is precious, it comes at the expense of others. It comes at the expense of resources. And it comes today at the expense of our unity.

Freedom from tryanny means something, it is a wonderful freedom that came at a great cost when we declared our independence from England. We refused to live under injustice and broke free from the bounds of tryanny. Many men lost everything in that war, their homes, their wives and families and their lives. But they fought because it was important that people live in freedom, some understood that, others did not and had to pay the cost anyway.
Today, people seem to think that only Americans have the ability to live in freedom. I don’t think that has to be the case. I know as a Reformed Christian that man yearns to be free, we want no ruler but ourselves. This is who we are. We may submit to authority for various reason but ultimately we still what to be free. Why would we think we are the only ones who yearn to do as we please, why would we assume that others would want to live under the rule of a dictator. Their actions governed by another, their freedom curtailed, their lives threatened daily, their jobs always at jepardy and their families threatened with torture and death. This was what it was like to live in Iraq before the war for most of the population.
The freedom that we enjoy is a gift from God and it comes with a responsiblity. We may want to live in total freedom but we owe each other a responsiblity to uphold the common good. Our freedom is not absolute. We have to make sure that we uphold and respect our leaders and to support our government with our tax money. And we have to make sure that we elect men and women who desire to represent us and not themselves. We do not need little kings and queens who will tell us what we need. We need men and woman who understand what it means to be free and to want to protect the rights of the citizens to be free and to live our lives in that freedom. We are not looking for men and women who are there to line their pockets or advance their career, we are looking for those who desire to serve and not be served.
Today we need to keep in mind the gift that we have been given and we need to be sure that we pass that gift on to our children so that they understand their blessings and their responsiblity. We should not squander their future to line our own pockets. We need to make sure that the freedom that has been our acknowledged right since the signing of the Declaration of Indepence remains free of infringements of any kinds. Furture generations deserve what we have today and we need to understand that we hold it in trust for them.
I hope you enjoy your picnics, your hamburgers and hot dogs, parades and fireworks, and your bbq. And I hope as you do, you appreciate the gift that you have been given. And to my international readers, have a great day.
More from Beliefnet and our partners