Fourth of July is here again, and we take a day to celebrate our nation’s birth. As I consider our Nation’s ‘Independence’, I find myself focused on our individual struggles for independence. My pastor ministered this Sunday about community in our churches, and about reconnecting. But in America, we don’t want to reconnect; we want to be self-sufficient. We do not want to ‘need’ anyone. When we are young, we want to be older so we can do things for ourselves, and when we grow old, we do not want to be a ‘burden’ on anyone. We want to be independent. It has been said that no man is an island, but if we could find a way, we would change that in America…
But, that is not how we were created. I choose this year to celebrate our Nation’s Independence Day by remembering that we were designed to be dependent: dependent first on God, and secondly on each other. I have spent many years trying to be independent, but I must learn to depend on my creator for strength, for courage, and for righteousness. I must learn to be willing to accept help from my fellow Christians, and offer dependability in return.
The internet, MySpace and yes even blogging, allow us to pretend to interact with others while remaining isolated islands. People say times change and we have all heard “get with the times”, but we are not called to transform with this world. As followers of Christ, we must resist the urge to isolate ourselves. How can we fulfill the great commission when we won’t even get out of our cars until the garage door is safely closed behind us — like a drawl bridge closing our neighbors out of our lives, and out of our circle of influence.
Ask your neighbor for a cup of sugar – invite them to your barbaque and insist they join you. Stop being polite when you ask “how are you” and start being sincere! We need each other. No – not because of the way things are going in America today, and not “now more than ever” – We have always needed each other – God declared from the beginning, “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen 2:18). This Fourth of July, declare your dependence! Join me in creating a greater community among believers.