Today is one of my favorite days of the year to think and reflect about my life and the direction I see things going. My wife and I will typically review our goals and see where we are in our journey ... it's just something we do. In almost two decades of leading and couseling people in some way or form, I have answered many various questions about life and the like, but today I want to share a question that represents various questions I have received that all say the same basic thing: What is so special about our national anthem and what does it mean? Well, here goes.
O say! Can you see by the dawn's early light what so proudly we hailed at the twighlights last gleaming?
Translation: Hey! Look over there! Do you see it? Do you remember gazing at it in awe and respect at dusk last night hoping that our cause would not fail?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight o'er the ramparts we watched were so galantly streaming.
Translation: It stood there as the picture of strength defiantly flying within the walls of the fort even though so many were trying to defeat us and remove it from sight.
And the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
The visions and sounds of war, though graphic and colorful, kept our hope of freedom alive because as long as the war continued, our hope remained even though we couldn't see it at the moment.
O say does that Star Spangled Banner yet wave o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Check it out! That flag, that symbol of our freedom, which represents our identity as a free and sovereign nation is still flying and those who claim it as their own only do so in bravery ... because that's what true democracy takes ... bravery ... being brave enough to limit a ruling group of people accepting that freedom bears a huge risk and comes at a great cost.
Freedom is NOT free ... every dictatorship wants desperately to see its demise ... because it threatens their existence ... so it must be protected from out and from within ...because there will always be people within the protection of the democracy who move great lengths to profit from it ... it's throughout history.
But I think of the words Francis Scott Key used to define his position ... and his hope. He was captive in the brig of an English ship as they bombarded Fort McHenry ... and the hope of a lasting America was hanging by a thread. Losing that victory was certainly a death sentence for him and many of his peers ... but losing has never been something the victorious settle for. Instead of allowing the circumstances of his immediate surroundings to diminish his reslove, he instead chose to find hope in the battle realizing an important fact that must be learned in order to become victorious ... it's the existence of battle itself that proves that hope is still alive and that there is still a chance worth fighting and continuing for.
I have witnessed many people quit on their dreams and hopes because of the difficulty of the battle only to find that if they had pushed a little more ... their success was around the corner ... instead they dropped it ... and live with regret.
I may live the rest of my life not seeing the fulfillment of my "dreams" as they seem ... but it's the battle that motivates me to continue, bc life is in the battle ... and life is fun ... and the battle proves that the dream is still being fought for.
So, are you tired of the fight? Remember this:
Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Spend your time doing what is good ... and what is right ... and it will be time well spent. Chase after it ... strive for it ... and enjoy all of the road in the meantime because that is where you life is ...
1Pe 2:15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.
Use your freedom wisely, it may not be around much longer ... VOTE!!!!
That's my take!
Loved your decipherment of our national anthem; there is so much meaning and history within those words. Many people, such as myself, have not taken the time to truly understand the meaning.ReplyDelete
Your reference to Galatians 6: 7- 10 has perfect timing. I have it highlighted as a reminder that every action has results, so we much choose wisely. The world does not understand this and sometimes views us (Christians) as being weak b/c we're not fighting back in hostile situations; they often wonder why we're not casting stones.
The truth is that we are not weak; it's just the opposite , we are strong in God's Word therefore we exhibit strong faith in Him that he will take care of the situation in His way, not in the world's way. This is an extremely difficult concept for people to understand.
I just continue to pray that people seek Him to find peace and forgiveness in situations; there is no better situation than being able to live in true freedom.
For those reading ...ReplyDelete
John 8:36 Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.
I agree completely, when Jesus taught us to turn the other cheek (Mat 5:39), it was not to be in weakness but in defiant strength ... like saying "You want to hit this one too ... because I am not changing my stance with you" and that stance was and is to be love at all costs.
In Steve Saint's "End of the Spear" he recalls a conversation he had with his dad right before he flew his last mission ... dying at the hands of the Waodani ... the very same people he, along with four other missionaries, was trying to reach. Steve, just 5 or so, asked his dad if he would use the rifles if the Waodani attack. Nate's response was, "Steve, I am ready for heaven, the Waodani are not."
That should be our philosophy in reaching the lost!
That must have been a pivotal moment because those words are so powerful and true.ReplyDelete
You're absolutely correct, we should use that philosophy in reaching the lost. I can remember not so very long ago when people were trying to reach me, and I thought they were borderline crazy. Now, years later, I'm one of those so called 'crazy' people, and I couldn't be happier!! :)
I have a copy of that movie "End of the Spear", which my family has watched numerous times and also at church. I've never watched it, I was afraid to see the violence. However, I just took it out and saw that it's a true story. Thanks! :)
You should read the book ... it is a great read and a much better teller of the story.ReplyDelete
I didn't know there was a book as well. I will get a copy and read.ReplyDelete