In a few weeks I will be traveling outside the United States on a mission trip to Nicaragua. As is often the case, as I am preparing to leave, my thoughts wander. Have I taken care of everything here? Do I have everything I need to take there? Very typical thoughts when we are traveling; but lately, I have been asking myself about America. I love to travel, mainly because I love people; yet, what I love the most about traveling is coming home.
The question I have been considering is: Why do I love America?
Times have changed. It isn’t the same America I once knew – the America of my childhood. Americans themselves are different. The way we think and act do not line-up with what my father and mother taught me. People in America are disillusioned and tired and frustrated. So, I ask myself, “Why do I love this country?”
My wife Connie is not the same person I married. The Connie I married was young and beautiful. She was fun and vivacious. She was carefree and ready for anything. And everyday that we’ve been married, she has changed.
The Connie I am married to today is older and even more beautiful. She’s intelligent and witty. She’s lived through many experiences, and I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my life loving her.
The one constant in life other than Jesus Christ is CHANGE. It happens to everyone and everything. Leave a room, reenter it, and something about it has changed.
America has changed – but I still love my country deeply. To answer my own question, I wanted to remind myself and all of you why we should love America.
1. I am free. I can go to church, work, have a home, educate myself and children, go to ballgames, read what I want, and live in peace.
2. Our country is divinely appointed. We were founded on religious principles; people came to America longing to worship God freely without governmental restrictions.
3. I love how we exchange governmental power. Even when my presidential candidate doesn’t win, I love the inauguration. I love the swearing-in of the new president. I love that our country isn’t “overthrown” every time someone new becomes president.
4. I love the Grand Canyon, the fields of grain, the sandy beaches, and the city lights.
5. I love hotdogs, fireworks, and warm apple pie with vanilla ice-cream on top.
6. I love the Preamble of the Constitution: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
7. I love that someone who opposes my opinion can stand beside me and shout as loud a he wants to shout; and I can stand beside him and voice my opinion as loud as I want to voice it; and neither one of us is breaking the law. We respect one another and our differences.
8. I love the people of the United States. We are volunteers. We are helpers. We are hard workers. We are motivated. We care what happens in the world.
9. I love that we sing the National Anthem before ballgames and men still remove their hats.
10. I love that we are “ONE NATION UNDER GOD” and it is “IN GOD WE TRUST”
Today is the Fourth of July – the birthday of this great nation. Take some time to remember what makes America great and celebrate the love you have for our country.
Happy Birthday, America!