Independence Day. America’s birthday. Freedom to be us as a nation.
Freedom to tell others, “You’re not the boss of me.”
I understand independence. Anyone who’s ever grown up understands independence. That deep desire to be and do what we believe is right for us.
As a nation, we came together as people who’d been misunderstood, unappreciated, not tolerated. We’d looked for a place to be liberated from rules we didn’t agree with. Rules that were restrictive and didn’t allow us to follow our hearts in ways that were good and right.
Me? I want freedom to be who I am. I resent others trying to be the boss of me. Those who choose to micro-manage me because they’re not sure I’ll do things their way. That I’m not meeting their expectations.
Not independence in the way our country began.
More a sense of personal entitlement.
I’m going to do what I want to do.
I don’t think of myself as entitled. I see myself as a person who truly wants to help others.
All I have to do, though, is look at kids to see how much we all have this sense of desired independence to do things our way.
Sloane is less than a week old, and she’s already giving her folks grief because she doesn’t follow the googled protocol for newborns.
Ryken’s favorite word is no. No matter what the question.
Huck runs through life at high speed, with no filters for fear.
Brooklyn’s begun to stand at seven months. Crawling everywhere fast. Curious and carefree.
Her folks can’t let her out of sight.
They’re all under two.
I’m not sure Independence Day is the correct way of looking at our American holiday. Yes, we became independent from England.
The better perspective is Dependence Day. When we learned to depend on one another so we could grow as a nation. To learn to trust each other and work together. We can’t each do what we feel is right in our own eyes without hurting others. We need to learn to listen and cooperate. Seeing the value of individuals is the only way we’ll have value as a nation.
We need one another. We need the American community to help the American people.
Kids need that. They need to learn to depend on their parents and those in authority. People who care about their wellbeing, who make decisions with more wisdom and experience.
What we want isn’t always best for us.
It’s why God longs for us to learn to depend on Him. He clearly sees the big picture. Knows how each of us fits in it. Provides for us as individuals and in community.
It’s humbling to depend on God. It’s also the best thing I can do for myself.
It’s humbling to admit I need to depend on others. That I can’t do life alone.
Happy Dependence Day. May we as a nation begin to recognize that we need to work together to be who we’ve always thought we are.