Wednesday, July 04, 2018
This past Sunday I was worshipping in an American church which was certainly less rah rah America than many other US churches I've seen. No visible American flags etc. or the singing of God Bless America.

There was a moving patriotic video that played reminding people to pray for America especially on this week when she celebrates her birthday. And there were prayers offered for America and her brave young fighters throughout the earth.

But apart from that, it wasn't as "that way" as it could have been.

But it struck me in a new way, that the name they have ended up with to describe their birthday is Independence Day.  Independence. Hmm...

I know who they were gaining independence from and I guess it comes from that place, but that word has come to define them and their spirit.

"Free from outside control, not subject to another's authority, not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence, not connected with another or with each other; separate, self-governing, self-ruling, self-determining, sovereign, autonomous, free, nonaligned."

Independence is something you want for your thirty something son when he doesn't move out of the basement, so it isn't an evil thing or even a bad thing. But when you are independent for a long time and don't need anyone's help or support or even friendship and you don't need to listen to anyone else when you start making some questionable decisions in life, where does that leave you? You get a little demanding and "My way or the highway" sort of a crankiness happening. You make a few missteps and there are no friends there to help pick you up. The downfall of independent, young and strong individuals as they age can happen pretty quickly.

The community found in interdependence is perhaps a better state for individuals to be in as they face life and all it will throw at them. As they age and can't do all the things they once did, as more and more they need the help of community, its a better and more humble and gracious way to live than with a rugged individualism.

The metaphor breaks down eventually, however on this morning of the 241st birthday of America I wonder if it might be a better position for a country to explore as well.

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