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!