"The sky is falling ... apart! The sky is falling ... apart!" he shouted while darting through the crowd dodging blankets, leaping over picnic baskets and hurdling every cooler.
Bolting for the car, my then two-year-old son, Scott, was almost a block away before I could catch up with him. "Stop!" I yelled. "It's okay! It's just the fireworks!" Misunderstanding the cause of the exploding sky, this determined little tike quickly lost his enthusiasm to celebrate the festivities and ran for cover.
Over 280 million celebrated the birthday of our great nation earlier this month with the usual picnics, family, friends, and fireworks. "E-e-ews" and "a-a-aahs echoed abound while brilliant fireworks exploded in the night sky celebrating our unique opportunity as Americans to enjoy life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Over 200 years ago on Independence Day, fireworks exploded in the sky, but I would venture to say that our ancestors exploded more with emotional excitement and enthusiasm as they pursued and anticipated the freedom and independence awaiting our brand new country.
How ironic then, that the key to our country's independence today actually stems from the inter-dependence of yesterday. In fact, our country was built on interdependence. We harvested together, raised barns together, worked and worshiped together. We taught one another skills and shared expertise to survive. Otherwise, without appreciating and recognizing the value of interdependence, eminent failure would have persisted for our country - our people.
We knew then what we should know now. God revealed that the greatest commandment is to love Him. What's the second greatest commandment? We are to love our neighbors. "There are NO GREATER COMMANDMENTS THAN THESE." Whoa! That's serious stuff!
You might be thinking, "What can I possibly do for my neighbor - my country?" Amidst all our foibles and imperfections or lack of talent and influence, look around to see how you can bless someone - receiving nothing in return. (Careful, though. You'll probably be the one who ends up blessed!)
When we're intertwined in people's lives, there's more purpose and fulfillment. When we're connected to others, we experience "independence" from loneliness, solitude, and life without purpose.
No "buts." You can't tell me there's not someone out there who needs you right now. Start with one. And start today, because tomorrow may be too late. Act courageously and boldly be willing to join in where's God's calling you. After all, He uses the most unlikely characters to accomplish His purpose. He doesn't look for the perfect, He looks for the willing.
Allow me to make a 2007 Proclamation - embrace the remaining 364 days of the year as a declaration of "Inter-Dependence Day." Veto complacency. Reach out to your neighbor, be proud of our country with undiminished devotion, and love the one and only true God with all your heart. You, too, will experience an explosion - of joy and happiness! (And rest assured - the sky is NOT falling ... apart!)
For more newsletter info like recipes, jokes, etc., visit http://www.susancrook.com/Newsletter/Monthly_newsletters/July_2007.htm.