Monday, July 7, 2008

Independence Day

So with all the whirlwinds of life, Independence Day seems to take on a whole new meaning. For so many reasons I see what a blessing independence is. I guess its one of those things that you take for granted for so long, that it is only when you feel the effects of bondage that you begin to really see and appreciate what freedom really means.
Of course I am looking at independence as an abstract concept as opposed to the traditional Independence in a political sense. Either way, the 4th of July has taken on a whole new meaning.
The bands of debt and consequences of recent actions have provided a lesson of the harsh reality of what a lack of freedom means. Tough lessons, but as hard as the past few years have been, it has definately been a chance to learn to appreciate and realize my own responsibility in protecting my freedoms.
I find it interesting that just a few years back my mission scripture was all about this very concept.
In Alma 10:6 Amulek is in the middle of telling his "story" (my personal BOM hero...the most underrated and undersung hero in my opinion) Its a story I related to as I came to the realization that I needed to serve a mission. Something I was dead set against.
"Nevertheless I did harden my heart, for I was called many times and I would not hear; therefore I knew concerning these things, Yet I would not know; therefore I went on rebelling against God, in the wickedness of my heart, even until the fourth day of the seventh month, which is in the tenth year of the reign of the judges."
For me it took several nudges from the spirit and finally an almost audible yell before I decided to follow what I knew for a long time. Serving a mission, then. FUNNY cause I still am struggling to learn this lesson. (I always thought I was a fast learner.... not so much.)
But you may not be seeing the connection between my scripture and my thoughts on independence. So let me elaborate. His rebellion ended on the fourth day of the seventh month. And while I am sure their calandar was a little different than ours, to me it is independence day. And how striking that the day he gave his life over to the Lord, and began to really hear and know those things he already knew, he had his own independence day. While it seems almost contradictory, I promise, it isn't. Trust me, a scholar in the school of hard knocks for the hard headed. Its not contradictory. I have seen, as I rebelled, how the chains of the devil wind tighter and tighter binding us with the consequences of sin, debt, and poor choices. All things that could be avoided by paralleling my will with God's will. And while I look at this, my mission scripture, I mourn for my folly. But it also gives me a reassurance that I need. It reminds me that the freedom is there for the taking. Yes, I will still and forever deal with some of the consequences of my rebellion, but I will come away with a new wisdom and perspective and I know as I stop my rebellion I will be able to have my own independence day.

When we were singing the Star Spangled Banner at church yesterday some of the words really hit me. (you know, like being hit so hard it takes your breath away.)

In one of the less sung verses it says:
O thus be it ever when free men shall stand Between their loved homes and the war's desolation Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven rescued land Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Im not exactly sure why it hit me so, I get teary just typing it out now. But I have felt and seen the war's desolation in figurative but very real way. And I pray that I will remember to praise the power that has rescued me, over and over and over again as I stumble, and that has made and preserved me.

1 comment:

Jenn said...

I wish the rest of us came away from our mistakes with such wisdom. You are such an awesome example to me, and I hope I grow up to be just as insightful as you are.