I’ve mentioned before in my blog the age of this home. It never ceases to amaze me when I look up at the stone boldly declaring the year on the front of our house. In 1883 it had been 107 years since the birth of this country. An Irishman had made his way from New York to this little place taking advantage of our freedoms and amassing wealth along the route. This was something he obviously had left his homeland for: to pursue a dream only this land would allow. Maybe our history seemed just as distant to him then as it does to me now another 135 years later…but our ability to accomplish the same things still exists.
I try to imagine life in 1883, and to some small degree I can. July has roared in with a heat wave which we’ve welcomed with almost all of our 26 original windows open. We, in the year 2018, do not have the modern air conditioning every single one of our neighbors have. I cried at the beginning of the still unfinished task of refinishing these windows a couple of years back. “Why on earth are there so many?”. I am reminded once again. AIR FLOW, AIR FLOW, AIR FLOW. Cross drafts are an amazing ancient concept. I am grateful on days like these for an opening in each direction. I am also thankful for the luxury of the fans placed in front of said windows….something the owner of this home did not have in 1883.
When I think about that my mind does wander to a time not long before when soldiers marched in July heat wearing woolen uniforms fighting over our broken country. As I sweat just walking out to the barn my imagination wanders to such things. I’ve received comments on our lack of ‘air’ like: “how do you survive?” Oh, I guess like people have for centuries only with skimpier cotton clothing and several fans.
Modern convenience aside, I am thankful for what God birthed here all those years ago. There is greatness in this land far deeper than we recognize. The majority, myself included, are so far removed from what the rest of the world is like.
Everyday I get to look at flowers grown on the background of a green lawn which we own. I take pictures on my cell phone of kittens born in piles of hay raised on the family farm…which has been in the family for almost four generations now. We eat the fruit of the land and are free to do with it as we please.
I went to the grocery store this morning driving one of the four vehicles we own. I bought buns, brats, sparklers, and glow sticks to celebrate our independence at the lake tomorrow. We will travel without permission and enjoy all that we take for granted. Crazy thing is…we aren’t even considered rich. Try lower middle class. Ya.
I’m sure I will engage in conversation about my God and His goodness without being arrested. At some point tomorrow I’m also sure to crack open a book that is banned in many other places. Its called the Bible. (Another precious thing we take for granted). Are you tearing up yet? Because I am.
Catapulting through this year, now in its seventh month, I’ve been challenged to see things with new eyes. I have not forgotten my statement of purpose from the New Year: make my days be filled with purposeful force. I said back on January 1 that the heat was increasing and time is filled with an urgency. As my brow beads I feel it quite literally to be true.
Upon the founding of this nation men and women sacrificed much against what looked like terrible odds. With tenacity our forefathers rose to make possible everything I enjoy today. They had invisible forces intervening on their behalf just as we do, but do we attack with the same fervor for our future?
Some of the freedoms they fought for are in peril. 2 Chronicles 7:14 gives us the solution. When we lift our humble prayers and return to God from sinful ways He heals our land.
While enjoying our freedoms tomorrow take a moment to look up and thank God who made it possible. Remember that our jobs, 401K, and stock market yields aren’t what has made us prosperous. The fancy boats flying across the lake aren’t what mark the successes of life. Big grills laden with meat aren’t what fill us at the end of the day….and when you fall asleep in your air conditioned room on a pillowtop mattress remember that its only by Gods grace you have a place to sleep at all.
Happy Independence Day!