Saturday, July 2, 2016

Independence Day

Leave, give in, or stay and fight. 
That's the choice our founding fathers had to make. 

Earlier in our country's history, my own ancestors had to make that very hard choice. Stay under the oppressive British class system or leave. Staying and fighting was not a option for the poor, unorganized farmer in England in the 1600s. So they left. They worked, sneaked, and indentured themselves onto crowded, disease-ridden boats and sailed toward a better life. A life of freedom, even if that freedom did have to wait until they had worked off their indenture. 

About a hundred years later, some more of my people decided once again they had had enough. They probably could have left- but this time they didn't. This time they marched their shiny, buckled shoes into the nearest tavern and sat down and made a plan. No, I'm not related to any of the main founding fathers, but my people rubbed elbows with them, mostly by polishing the buckles on their shoes (In fact, at least two of them came here to avoid prison for stealing shoes, but that's a whole different blog). These people, these Patriots, were fed up. They had tolerated all they could from a distant, ego-centric, manipulative, micromanaging, megalomaniacal king and they were OVER IT. But they couldn't do it alone. They knew they couldn't just say, "Hey, it's been nice, but it's time we tried this thing on our own." There was no easy way out. Kind of like that relationship that lasts just a few months too long. You know it's going to be a rough exit; a few tears are going to be shed. But you have to do it. You have to end it because it's just not healthy. 

So they made a plan. 

Now most of you know by now that I love me some history and I cannot even begin to talk real American history without a nod to 

 Th Jefferson. 

But even the Gentleman Farmer would have to admit (and he did) that it took more than just a plan and a few good long rifles. It took seeking the will of God and including Him in every step of the planning. It took relying on what we know to be "self-evident." And it took guts. 

This was not going to be an easy fight. For crying out loud, some people didn't even WANT to fight. They were content. They were itinerent farmers and they really couldn't care less what His Majesty had to say about tea. They just wanted him to continue to buy their tobacco at top dollar. Every last pound. (See what I did there?) These people were happy to just exist. They relied on the land owner to tell them what to plant, when to plant it, and how much of it to plant. They were not involved in the decision-making or the planning process and they were just fine with that, thankyouverymuch. (That would have driven me absolutely bonkers, by the way, and I would have ended up in Ye Olde Gaol or the Gallows I am sure!) But an interesting thing happened to some of these apathetic "sheep." 

Some of the Loyalist leaders made the mistake of insulting them. See, sometimes leaders get cocky. They surround themselves with people who build them up to the point where they think they are untouchable. In their own mind, they can do no wrong. They are Top Dog and any challenge is seen as treason (In reality they are usually very insecure and untrusting, but again, for a different blog at a different time). So the main Loyalists told the backwood farmers that they would be no match for the world famous British army. Said they were a bunch of disorganized, ignorant hicks (well, they didn't say "hicks," but that's what they meant). In short, they bullied them. Tried to make them think they were not only incapable, but inadequate. It resulted in the Battle of King's Mountain, and it was arguably the turning point of the Revolutionary War. 

We whooped their British behinds. 

Killed their leader and took some prisoners. Sent the rest packing. Then they marched back home and went back to farming. And then France hurried over and helped us finish things up on the James River. 

But the point is this: If the farmers in the mountains had just bought the whole British song and dance about not being equipped for the fight, the battle would not have been won! Only God knows how "equipped" we are because He does the equipping. And a leader who has to resort to trying to weaken his enemy with insults and verbal beat-downs (can't believe I just wrote "beat-downs") must know that his enemy is indeed strong and he must be something of a...well, again, that's another blog for another time. 

I ask you this, dear Patriot: are you ready for the fight? Because we have an enemy who wants to kill, steal, and destroy us and he seeks to weaken us and bully us and disrupt our unity. Satan, like many evil leaders after him, will try to wear you down until you believe his lies. We will become blinded by his tricks and manipulation and lose sight of all that is right. There is only one Match for this enemy: Jesus. When you rely on His strength and His guidance the enemy cannot win. Jesus won that battle when He left the tomb! 

So invite our Savior to be yours. Know Him as your trusted Friend and true Leader. And enjoy your very own Independence Day. 

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