Somehow, when my physical being starts feeling worn down and achy, my brain wants to shut down as well. I woke up today really dragging, my throat sore, weary from pushing to make a lot of deadlines, knowing that there is so much more that needs to get done as quickly as possible. As much as I wanted to keep my nose to the grind, the rest of me yelled, “Halt!” It seems that my mind is not independent from my physical health.
With today being the Fourth Of July, the American Day of Independence, I have been pondering INDEPENDENCE off and on all day. Those who have studied American history know that when the American colonies won their independence from Britain and formed a new nation, despite a declaration of freedom for all, all did not have the right to own land, all did not have the right to vote, all did not own their own freedom. Each one of these rights was fought for as the country moved through time.
It is like a child growing up. Remember how exciting it is when a baby rolls over for the first time? Sits up? Crawls? Takes the first step? Maybe not as exciting for the parents are the later steps towards independence: deciding to not think or do like mom and dad, moving out, making their own mistakes to gain their own wisdom.
On this Fourth of July, it occurs to me that America has much to celebrate and also some places from which to gain wisdom. Victories have been won, expanding freedom, and more are ahead. Not many grow up without some falls and hurts along the way and neither will we as a country. What is it that children are told when they fall? “Get up and try again.” When our Nation falls or struggles, it’s not the time to throw blame or quit. It is time to get up and try again to be a Nation of the free and the brave, a land of justice and a belief in the possibilities of all.
Just as my mental state is tied to my physical state, those of us in each community, city, state, nation are tied together. Together we can celebrate those who have striven to give us independence and together we can take up the baton passed to us.
The scripture that comes to mind is Isaiah 40: 30-31 “The young will become tired and weary, youth will certainly stumble; but those who hope in God will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.”