[From the archives. Happy Independence Day!]
Freedom, Truth, and Dependence
Summertime in our little canyon brings adolescent wildlife into view. Last summer, our Labrador, J.D., faced off against a young squirrel. He’d pick up the squirrel in his soft retriever’s mouth, then spit it out when the squirrel began to wriggle. The squirrel, all bluster, would rear up on its hind legs, puff itself up, and hiss madly at the dog. My husband and I watched from the deck for a moment, amazed at the six-inch squirrel’s ballyhoo in the face of a ninety-pound dog.
Then Rich turned on the hose, distracting our water dog long enough for the beleaguered little creature to escape.
A few mornings ago as I drove our canyon road on my way to my job in town, a half-grown rabbit darted out from the shoulder, on course for a crushing introduction to my truck’s Goodyears. With no place to swerve, I gritted my teeth, expecting to feel a tiny thud beneath my tires.
At the last possible second, the rabbit veered, zigging back towards the gravel shoulder. Some saving instinct fired off in its brain; in an instant, it turned away from catastrophe, running back into the cover of the oak forest.
I enjoy sharing my world with these creatures. I think of them as wild and free.
Today our community will stage a parade, celebrating our nation’s independence–its freedom. We’ll thank those brave men and women who’ve defended our freedom and glory in our sovereignty as a nation. We gather to celebrate our history. And our future.
I will join in the celebration, grateful to call America my homeland, grateful for the sacrifices that preserve our way of life.
All the same, Independence Day draws me to reflect on the great paradox of my faith: my true freedom comes from dependence. I have a resource beyond my instincts to guide me, to help me turn away from calamity, to save me from the jaws of a deadly beast.
I have God. I seek to trust in Him, depend upon Him–only Him. Always Him.
It’s a challenge for my prideful heart and I fall short.
But by His grace, I’m freed.
15 For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. 16 Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. 17 Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.
1 Peter 2:15-17 (NASB)