A month before Independence Day, store shelves, as usual, began to don red, white and blue USA flag-printed everything: kitchenware for BBQs, patriotic shirts, garden flags, you name it. Seeing these types of items used to get me amped for the upcoming Fourth of July and all its festivities.
I hesitate to report that I felt an indifference this year when I saw all those items rolled out. My Independence Day attitude has become steadily less enthusiastic as the years have marched on, which I noted in a similar post four years ago.
It is not that I don’t love my country. I do. It’s not that I am ungrateful for the blessing of living here. I very much appreciate it. It’s just that … the state of America is much different now than it was in the height of my fevered patriotism of yesteryear. As the United States continually transforms into a nation I recognize less and less, it becomes more and more difficult to get excited about celebrating it.
Debbie Downer posts aren’t typically my thing, but I wanted to get this off my chest, in the event anyone out there can relate.
I won’t go into detail about the many things I find disheartening about the direction our country is headed. That would be too long, contentious and depressing. And I doubt anyone would read it.
To briefly summarize, the theme “God Bless America,” in all its forms (song(s), saying, bumper sticker, etc.) rings painfully hollow. It seems disingenuous at best, and scandalous at worst, to proclaim “God Bless America!” when America has all but abandoned God. It seems more like we are living in the reality of Romans chapter one than the rosy sentimentality of a Lee Greenwood song (which I used to listen to every July 4th and get teary-eyed, I’ll sheepishly admit).
So, What To Do?
Never one to stay in a negative mindset, I’ll end on a more upbeat note. The American Experiment was in its time a radical, unique one that has created unforeseen flourishing, freedom, and prosperity for millions of people over the years. I am profoundly pleased to have been born and raised here and have lived in freedom my whole life.
Even as I see this great nation head towards the types of government that have been tried and failed countless times elsewhere, I still count myself fortunate to have been alive to witness and enjoy all that freedom holds.
I’m eternally grateful for an everlasting hope that transcends government, politics and all the triumphs and troubles of this life.
“Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18