Hidden Royalty

for such a time as this

Happy Independence Day

The older I get, the more meaningful these holidays become. And celebrating Independence Day outside of the United States seems to highlight to me the memory of what this day is about, stripped of the parties, food, and fireworks (which I greatly miss).

We hear a lot of talk about the American Dream and about the rights for which men fight so bravely and families sacrifice so much–the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There is so much accusation thrown about between those who cherish these words and believe in them, and those who see the injustice around us and decry them. I believe that this feud could be settled if we would read a bit further, and linger on the conclusion of this incredible document: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

This is the paradox that speaks to the true value of freedom. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness can only be true and noble in the context of pledging to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor. I think we sometimes have the mindset that those in battle make this pledge so that those back home can enjoy these freedoms. But what if we changed that mindset? What if we valued this sacred pledge as we value our individual freedoms?

Our forefathers proclaimed freedom from tyranny because they wanted to be free to build a society on mutual respect and honor. The independence they craved was from a distant tyrant, not their neighbors. They wanted the freedom to be locally represented by those who understood the reality of their daily lives. The American Dream was not birthed from the desire for personal freedom, but the hunger for authentic community, for countrymen who shared the same values to be free to live according to those values. I know it sounds idealistic, but the freedom to dream is something I value and something that men and women have laid down their lives to fight for.

July 3, 2012 Posted by | Thoughts | , | Leave a comment

Happy Thoughts for a New Year

ImageSitting in my room my second night back in Herrnhut–having just unpacked and re-organized everything–I sip tea from my beautiful chinese teapot I finally brought with me from home, and think happily on the blessings of books, lovely music, warm thoughts of family, and a beautiful new year before me.
I don’t know what’s in store, but I hope that it plunders the depths of my heart. Should there be grief, I hope that I may feel it to the depth of His comfort. Should there be joy, I hope that I may know it in its boundless possibilities. Should there be trials, I hope that I may run face-forward to the challenge. Should there be victory, I hope that in His grace I will triumph. Should there be dissappointment, I hope to be vulnerable in His presence. Should there be comfort, I hope to find joy in the sharing. And should there be love, I hope to give a heart that is whole; a heart that has chosen the depths–to give every ounce and to recieve, unapologetically, all that Love Himself shall give.
Twelve is a good number: 12 tribes, 12 apostles, a dozen eggs, a dozen roses. It sounds complete, doesn’t it? It’s a full number, good and round. More then ten, it just feels like an overflow. Let’s give it all this time around. I’m not talking about running away with your emotions, but embracing the depths of real life. Forget the pixilated stampede of endless notifications. Let’s be generous in real time. Have an interesting conversation and ask some real questions. If you found that you have neglected someone, turn around and go back. When you realize you are having a truly grateful moment, take it further and do something to make someone else thankful. When you’ve done wrong, make it right; and when you’ve done right, make it better.
Be inspired and inspire others. It’s what breathing’s all about: taking it in and giving it out. And remember that man’s first breath was the breath of God. Maybe we should start that way each day.
So for all of us out there in the bumper cars of life, remember, it’s more fun to drive around and get hit than to sit in the corner.
Happy 2012!!!

June 20, 2012 Posted by | Life, Thoughts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment