Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dependence on Independence Day

What is a holiday without meaningfulness?

This Independence Day (click for song) was filled with family fun. The highlight of my day was a brief and profound realization which was experienced at an unexpected time.

We went to Lake Pflugerville for an evening fireworks display. After arriving with time to relax, the children and I went into the crowd to explore what the vendors had to offer. We were surprised to see so many people crowded on a relatively small shoreline (the unofficial headcount was 44,000—David said he thought all of Texas was there!). As I walked through the immense crowd, I felt like I was in a sea of unfamiliar faces.

In such a large crowd, I was surprised that I didn't see anyone I knew. While I stopped to kneel and point something out to the children, my thoughts filled my mind. There I was, surrounded by myriads that I didn't know, of practically every walk of life, when I had a distinct conflicting feeling: I felt very alone, yet, at the same time, I felt incredible peace and love. The latter were unmistakable fruits of the Spirit (see Gal 5:22-23). In a wash of loneliness, a flood of love and light.

As I tried to package the feelings up to store in my heart, I felt that the message was this: It doesn't matter that many don't know you, and that you don't know many; what matters is that God knows you, and that you know Him.

A picture that Maryann took later (see above) serves as an illustration. I sometimes sit alone with my family on one shore while we see thousands across the way. We may, at times, feel lonely, but the love of God (picture the sunlight ... or Son's light) warms us and fills us with love. (I love this illustration because the light shines on all, and we have the opportunity to reflect the love of God by the things we say and do.)

I'm grateful for the unasked-for gift of peace that I received this Independence Day. God knows and loves me, and I know and love Him (see Romans 8:16).

Dependence on Independence Day. That is meaningful.

0 thoughts