Celebration of Freedom - Is it more than a holiday?
July 4th is a monumental date for the United States of America. Happy Birthday America -- 236 years old!
Growing up in North Idaho I can remember the The 4th of July as one day (other than Sundays) that was always sacredly guarded for family and fun.
Though it was paramount to our little farm to harvest hay in early July, my dad and mom always planned some kind of activity that involved our greater community. We took a day away from putting up the season's hay.
Usually our little farm was the center of activity and celebration for the day. Occasionally we would plan an all day outing to Lake Coeur d'Alene or Lake Pend Oreille. Fishing for land locked salmon, water skiing and eating lots of home made food potluck style was the usual celebratory way. Whether we stayed on the farm or traveled to a lake we always celebrated with family and friends.
We sometimes ended the day with a few fireworks and occasionally traveled to Coeur d'Alene for the city firework display, but neither a holiday outing nor fireworks were the focus of our celebration. I remember my dad talking about the concept of liberty and how important freedom was. His generation was the one that experienced the years of World War II. It was only after my own years of growing, and learning about how our nation differed from other nations that I began to appreciate all that my dad was trying to explain.
I just finished reading Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas. It too is a story that springs from the soil of World War II. The hero of the tale is German, and he too fought for freedom. This compelling biography about Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life is a wonderful read on so many different levels. Bonhoeffer celebrated his freedom daily and he never viewed defending freedom as a chore or a labor. His dedication to preserving freedom while the vast majority of his fellow countrymen were cowering behind possibly the world's greatest bigot and madman is a testament to the greater power that is available to men when they are willing to humble themselves. (My dad would have loved the book and would have understood it.)
I believe in sharing books. So if you want to borrow my copy of Bonhoeffer it is available as soon as my wife finishes it.