Independence Day

Yesterday was the fourth of July. I spent the day with my family who gathered together for a reunion. All of our kids were there and both grandsons. So, difficult to know how to split my time and all my “hugs” and “kisses.”

When we get together with my side of the family on the fourth, we have developed a tradition of having a friendly competition. My niece Christy sets it up each year. She gets us into teams representing the British or the Colonists and added this year the Native Americans (we are getting too large for only two teams)

We play all the old games like the three legged race, the egg in the spoon relay, and other relay races. All of them relate loosely to our independence day. She even asked us to come up with our own team cheers. They were pretty good if I don’t say so myself.

One of the final games we played was called “Name the president.” We competed to see how quickly each team could guess the presidents’ faces on masks that were handed to each person on our team. Since we couldn’t see the face of the president, our other team members would provide clues to determine who our specific president.

I was fortunate to know the identity of the president assigned to me before the game began. All I had to do was look at the profile of my assigned president to recognize who it was.

Can you guess who it was? It was JFK. His distinct profile is embedded in my mind. I have seen countless pictures over the years of John Kennedy and probably the mystique of the Kennedy’s has added to this memory.

And of course, the fact that he was one of four presidents assassinated while in office has added to embedding his face in my mind. I can still see him in Dallas riding in the car with his wife waving at the people.

I am pretty amazed by those who have chosen as presidents of our country. Even if I have disagreed with some of their policies or their behaviors, I have always respected them. I especially think about them on our Independence Day. I can’t imagine the kind of pressure they have been under trying to lead this country.

I know they have made huge mistakes and have been second guessed by everyone all over the world. In many ways, their job has been a thankless one. And yet, they have assumed one of the most if not most powerful positions in the world in order to ensure our freedoms. For some it even cost them their lives.

I think that is what the 4th of July is all about. It reminds us of the people in our history who wanted freedom so badly for others that they sacrificed everything in order to gain it and keep it.

Are we willing to do this when it comes to the lives of people who are in a prison of their souls? Are we ready to go the distance in order to help people find freedom? It is Independence Day! Someone is counting on us to fight for them. Will we step up?

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