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Independence

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. I am so grateful for this wonderful country that we live in and the freedoms that we still have. Over the years I have studied much about the founding of America, about the wars that we have had over the years with other countries as well as within our own country, and about some of the individual people and their reasons for coming and settling this country. I have also studied the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, all of which I believe are inspired documents.

Freedom is an interesting thing. Before the creation of America, there were countries that granted their people some freedoms, but restricted others. America was the first country in which most of the people were free, and in which freedom was actually granted to all people through the constitution, however, some of those freedoms had to be reexamined and fought for again internally so that all could actually be free. I feel that the documents were more perfect (although not completely perfect) than the people, as is still the case today. I also find it interesting how the original writers were wise enough to understand that they were not perfect and that times change. That there needed to be the ability to add to or amend the constitution as time went on. The Bill of Rights however being unchanged, granting certain inalienable rights to all of us as citizens.

As I ponder on Freedom, my mind also ponders on Agency. The ability that God has given us to choose for ourselves how we will live our lives. Along with agency comes accountability. God originally gave us commandments and instructions on how to best live our lives, how to find true happiness and joy in life, and how to return to Him. But He doesn’t and never will force us to do any of those things. We can choose whatever path we want to follow. But we have to be accountable for our actions. Every action has a consequence, good or bad, that’s how life is set up. I am grateful God created cause and effect in nature so that we could better understand cause and effect with our choices. Gravity is a law that cannot simply be ignored or done away with because we don’t want to agree with it or deal with it today. Hot is a part of nature that cannot be ignored. You cannot touch a hot stove and decide you’d rather it not burn you. There are all sorts of nature consequences that cannot be avoided simply because we don’t want to deal with them. Likewise, there is a good way to live our lives, with good consequences, and a not-so-great way to live our lives, with consequences that we may not really want to deal with but will always come eventually.

Although our Founding Fathers were not perfect, as none of us are, they created inspired documents that when lived by, creates the best possible outcome for happiness and success for individuals, as well as for the country as a whole. I am grateful for those in our checks and balances system of government who have read these documents, who understand them, who value freedom, and who aren’t afraid to uphold and amend as needed to maintain freedom. I am also grateful for the men and women who have offered their lives in the defense of our freedoms near and far. Freedom is a fragile thing that needs to be attended to regularly and protected, not only by those in political office, or fighting on the front lines, but by everyday people in our homes, our communities, our social media platforms, everywhere. We need to stand up and be a force for good. I love The United States of America, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to live here. I hope you all have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend!

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