Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Discovering Religious Freedom in New England

I walk away from a whirlwind tour of New England with this poignant reminder: a small group of people from all across their country came together and made a trek across a vast ocean for a specific purpose. They vacated their homes, left their families, and endured horrendous living conditions, started building homes in the friged winter, sacrificed their lives and all they had ever known and loved for this simple reason: they wanted the FREEDOM to worship God how THEY wanted.

That's it. That is why the Pilgrims - and those to follow - came to America in the early 1600's.

Their commitment to Christ, and His principles were so strong, and deeply rooted in their souls, that they had "no choice" but to find freedom for expression - even if that meant they must make a home in a wild unknown world.

When I look in the mirror and consider, as someone who has benefited from religious freedom, it is up to me and a grand few as to whether this same liberty is lost or preserved for tomorrow's generation. My chest gets heavy. Yet I will not hide from the fact that even now, in this hour in America, I am a care-taker of this right. The stark truth that it's a hard battle, one easy to let go of, or dismiss for generations to follow - is cold reality. Yet in the process of considering what others have done before me to obtain something so dear and sweet, I am re-affirmed that my choice to put elbow grease into all that I can is well worth it. I cannot turn back.

Many have heard me say up until now that I hope to meet the Founding Fathers when I get to heaven and to hear them say "Thank you for what you have done to keep our country free". But after this fresh revelation on the Mayflower in Plymouth 2014, I think I'll be changing those words. Now, in addition to the Founding Fathers, I also plan to meet the Puritans, the Pilgrims, and all those who fit into the "we sacrificed a lot so that you as a nation could worship God how you wanted" hall of fame. I realize I will answer to a huge cloud of witnesses. But with God has my final Judge, if they look at me and say "You helped keep, preserve, solidify and pass on the torch of freedom" I will know that I have done well.

Oh Father, please let it be that religious freedom will not disappear in my lifetime, or in America's centuries to come. May I work to pass it on to generations to come, regardless the cost, conditions of the battle, or length of time. Show me how God. Show me how. Religious freedom, and all freedoms that coincide, is just too precious to lose. - ajh