“Life is short and we have not too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark way with us. Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind!” ~ Henri F. Amiel
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons and daughters of God.”
When I think about the 4th of July, I get all kinds of warm and fuzzy feelings in my heart. I remember moments as a child, sitting on the car watching the fireworks over the lake, my teenage years at carnivals with dates, scary rides and cotton candy, and many adult moments with friends, yelling and cheering as fireworks go off and music blares. Good times…right?! We are celebrating the USA and our freedoms and we all come together, so what could possibly be wrong with THAT?! In its truest and most innocent state, there is absolutely nothing wrong with fireworks and celebrating, nothing at all. What I want to mention is something that I just became aware of that will change some celebrations for me. This photo went around Facebook recently. We talked about it at our staff meeting. I had never considered the effect of noise on PTSD sufferers or any other people who are acutely affected by noise. It had always been about me. I thank the Holy Spirit for opening my mind and heart to so many new ways of seeing and understanding things, especially those for which I thought my knowledge was solid. A new state of consciousness and consideration for others is so desperately needed everywhere on earth. Just because something has always been done a certain way does not necessarily make it the best way to do it. We are all children of God. It’s up to us to make peace.
Prince of Peace, I come to you today with a desire to celebrate with all your people every day, not just on the 4th of July. We have so many differences, but so many more commonalities. Please keep challenging my ways of thinking, by showing me more and more ways of loving in the way that you have taught.
Focus for the Day: Let us not get so lost in our celebrating that we cannot see the effect our celebrating may have on others.