The explosions above were incredible. New colors, shapes, and sounds reflected Redlands celebration of one hundred years of having a local university as well as the principals the USA represents. As the story unfolded with music and narration commenting, I found myself wondering aloud to myself at the apparent paradox. We talk a lot about freedom, but to we live what we believe? We speak of a community where everyone is equal, yet do we act in a way that tells the same story? We talk of respecting those who sacrifice on our behalf, as we throttle and control anyone with a different perspective or view. Our core principals reflect the battle against all those who would oppose freedom and respect. Yet our actions tell a different story.
I found the experience of watching the fireworks had the secondary impact in reminding my heart and mind of how important the reasons pledging my allegiance to the principles of freedom, equality, and community are. It is a unique proposition. We say freedom is more important than our lives, in face freedom is life. We say the equality of all men and women is God given, no matter how difficult this proposition is to live and nurture. We say we are a community bound by ideals, living under God. The principles we stand for are ideal.
I found myself shivering at the potential impact. I also caught myself in fear. To both I had, then and now, the following comments. First, we have nothing to fear with God on our side. The God of your life and mine said it well; “Look, I've written your names on the backs of my hands. The walls you're rebuilding are never out of my sight.” (Isaiah 49.16) You are my children. Your actions on the principles we hold most true are actions worthy of God.
Second, I know life today falls incredibly short of God’s ideals and my own. I am not discouraged. This reality is your life and mine. I do find reality inviting, begging us to realize our dreams.
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