It’s Veteran’s Day, 2010. A Federal Holiday where we are to reflect, as President Woodrow Wilson declared in 1919, “… the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
I was reflecting this week on the freedom we have here in the United States, and was once-again caught off-guard by how much I take it for granted.
I watched this week the news-reports of my brothers and sisters in Iraq being attacked as they worshiped together in their church. This, and countless stories before it – and countless that we’ll continue to hear after, remind me to be thankful for where I live.
And yet with this freedom, sadly, I believe there is another form of ‘freedom’ that comes. I’m calling it the “freedom to forget”. I don’t think I’m the only one who falls prey to this “freedom to forget”, on the contrary, I think most of us do. With the freedom scripted by our government and defended by our military comes a ‘disconnect’ on my part. It’s a false-sense, I believe, of safety that comes from not having much interaction with or knowledge-of the opposite of freedom.
I don’t want to live in fear, but I don’t want to take my freedom for granted, I don’t want to forget its worth, and I don’t want to only recognize my tendencies to do these things around Federal holidays.
And I’m also embarrassed to say that this ‘freedom to forget’ transfers into my Spiritual life, too. When is the last time we recognized what we’ve been freed from through the blood of Jesus Christ? Do we simply recognize and honor it on special holidays or a certain day of the week? Why is it so easy to become forgetful of the gift-of-love that gives us the freedom we have in Christ?
How do YOU remember and honor the freedoms you experience?
What are ways that WE can honor those who have sacrificed so much for us beyond the times where it is easiest and culturally ‘normal’?
How must we live to not fall into the trap of experiencing ‘freedom to forget’?