Here in the USA, July 4th marks the date our nation was founded. 245 years ago, 13 small colonies banded together to defiantly shake their collective fist in the face of the King of England, who at the time was the biggest bully on the planet. And against all odds, this young nation survived the onslaught that volleyed forth from the greatest military in the world.
The fact that America began with the signing of the Declaration of Independence by representatives from these 13 original colonies has perhaps to some extent caused the notion of independence to become highly prized in our culture. To one degree or another, many of us like to not depend on anyone else for anything. We don’t like to be told what to do. We are the Marlboro Man or Amelia Earhart.
To depend on someone else is a sign of weakness.
Or is it?
It may surprise many of us who have not read the Declaration of Independence since middle school or high school (if ever) that our precious founding document ends with this sentence:
“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.”from the U.S. Declaration of Independence (emphasis added)
Wait a minute. So, we’re supposed to rely (depend) on God for his providence and protection?
I guess we’re not so independent after all–only independent from the tyranny of England’s King George III.
And here’s another thing: in addition to the need to return to needing God as a nation, if the isolation over the past year (plus) due to COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is this:
We need each other, too.
Evidently, the founding fathers thought so as well, since they ended our nation’s founding document with a statement confirming that our lives and fortunes are inextricably intertwined. Meaning, we need each other.
So, to summarize, our nation’s foundational document declares our independence from England but dependence on God and each other.
Oh, OK, I’m good with that. What about you?
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