Monday, June 30, 2014

Freedom

Today is a milestone birthday for me.

I’ve now been alive for 600 months. That’s 2,609 weeks . . . or 18,262 days. Yet no matter how I break down the math, I’ve lived a half century. There! I admitted it!

FFF July 1 Pic.1While the chubby cheeks and chunky thighs of infancy may never have abandoned me, much can change in fifty years. When I reflect upon national events that occurred during my formative years, I see a theme emerging that is fitting for a child of Freedom Summer.

When I was one day old, Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Shortly after my first birthday, the Voting Rights Act, guaranteeing African Americans the right to cast election ballots, gained his signature. I rode to grade school with Helen Reddy belting “I am Woman” over the bus’s radio speakers. As women struggled for equal opportunities, I saw bras burned before I was old enough to wear one.

[caption id="attachment_548" align="alignright" width="199"]Photo Courtesy of MPhotography, Miranda Prusik Photo Courtesy of MPhotography, Miranda Prusik[/caption]

And each year, three days after smoke clears from my birthday candles, the skies light up as America celebrates another year of independence.

Another year of freedom.

As a woman whose age increases in the glow of July 4th fireworks, I can’t help contemplating which freedom is most important to me.  Freedom to vote? Freedom to work outside the home? Freedom to speak my mind on a public blog? All are priceless to me.

Yet another stands high above the rest:

Freedom to accept Christ as my Savior.

Amazingly, no individual, group, or government can take that privilege from me. No laws or chains or prison walls are strong enough to bar me from it.

FFF July 1 Pic.3Yet whether the Lord grants me another fifty years or fifty seconds on this earth, this treasured freedom comes with tremendous responsibility. As Christ's follower, I am called to realize my life is not about me. This day doesn’t exist for me to make a wish and blow out fifty candles atop a cake, though I likely will do so and enjoy it, too. Instead, my primary task is to live by and spread God's word, to share His love, to be His hands and feet, to put the needs and concerns of others above my own. Easy? Hardly. Worth it? You bet! The rewards fill eternity, and at fifty years, I'm just getting started.

Care to join me?

6 comments:

  1. Diana, I so enjoyed reading your blog because it hits home. I think that sometimes we take our freedoms for granted and sometimes we have a tendency to take others for granted. Your blog tells the most important freedom and I agree with this 100%. The freedom to accept and know the Lord is what has kept me going the last 30 years of my life. I know that through this acceptance I have gained so much wealth that is not of this world and I am so looking forward when the day comes to go home and be with the Lord, whether through death or His second coming. So thank you for reminding me of this most important freedom. Will enjoy reading more from you. God bless.

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  2. Audrey McLaughlinJuly 1, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Thank you for boldly professing your faith amidst the joy of your milestone birthday. We are blessed in many ways in this wonderful country, but most importantly we are blessed to be free to express our faith in our Lord. Happy Birthday Diana and the USA!

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  3. Betty, your faith is such an inspiration to me. Finding hope in the Lord IS joy, isn't it, and no one can ever take that away. Thank you so much for taking time to share your thoughts here. Bless you, sweet friend!

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  4. Audrey, how tragic that some governments bring punishment and death to those who express their desire to follow Christ. I don't know why some of us are born into those countries while others are born into this one, but I believe our freedom to worship gives us an even greater responsibility to share God's message. Thank you so much for dropping by to share my gratitude for that freedom!

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  5. Diana, it is I who thank you for your faith that you share so willingly with us. Your writings have lifted my spirit more than once. I enjoy your pictures of God's creations that you post on FB and how you share your faith as if it the most natural thing to do. Your writings that share so much of your family and your faith has touched my heart many times and some have even made me cry and some have made me laugh. so thank you, for being so willing to share your faith with us all.
    Your sister in Christ, Betty

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  6. Happy Birthday, Diana! In the words of Robert Browning, "The best is yet to come!"

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