It's kind of surreal to think that just a year ago this weekend I was crossing over into Iraq. Yet, at the same time it's hard to believe I've already been back for 7 months!
For many years I've looked at the 4th of July as a celebration of the stand our forefathers took against tyranny and oppression, and thankfully I can still look upon this day as one that changed the course of human history; but I cannot shake the fact that this day is one that changed MY world. I just don't look at life the way I did before being dropped into a combat theatre. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it might not be a good thing either. Frankly, it's a sobering feeling because it opened my eyes to the reality that other people don't think, act, speak, worship, or life everyday life the same as us, AND THAT'S OK! I don't want this to sound like a laissez faire attitude, as our pursuit of change to the status quo is exactly what led to the establishment of this great nation. Celebrating our successes, while also acknowledging our faults is what makes us so influential in the world.
You're inevitably going to be reminded of what this holiday remembers and represents. You'll be asked to think and pray for the brave men and women "fighting for your freedom" overseas, and there's nothing wrong with that. But shouldn't we also celebrate the motivation behind every man and woman who willingly goes off to war? YOU are the reason we fight. Just seeing YOU live your life the way you want to is what gives us the encouragement to do what we do. I submit that if you didn't continue to live your life without fear of being oppressed, there's no reason for us to fight anymore.
So.... celebrate your freedoms and liberties! Take comfort in knowing that YOU can do what you want (well, almost!). I thank the good Lord for each one of you that I know and hope you enjoy this holiday and find joy what it means to YOU!