I could write for hours on the amount of things that we are blessed with in America because of the sacrifice of our soldiers. But as this is a movie-themed blog, I’ll stick to this subject.
An amazing thought struck me one day when I was discussing a trivial and overly nerdy detail of the Star Wars universe with my brother. I have spent hundreds of hours in my life engaged in the subject of movies and movie worlds. I have often been tempted to feel foolish and superficial for this fact. And yes, it is good to step out into reality and face some real life things such as current events, vitamins, and walking the dog. Still, there are very few things that give me as much enjoyment as a good story on the screen.
I was thinking through all of these things one day, and the guilt threatened to creep up on me. Am I wasting my life? People who live in other countries don’t waste their time on movies, they are too busy thinking about where the next meal will come from. Or whether or not their village will be overrun by militants. But then, the profound thought struck me.
I have the time to spend on movies, because I live in a peaceful and prosperous country free from fear.
Pause for a moment and consider the non-essential things we Americans get to enjoy on a regular basis. Movies, amusement parks, zoos, trips to the beach, ice cream cones, parties, barbecues, the list goes on and on.
Why do we have the time to enjoy these things? Because we live in a free society where we do not spend our lives in fear. The majority of us live in comfortable, safe homes. We have food to eat. This is the case because our country has time to grow healthily and build up wealth and prosperity.
We do not live with the constant threat of evil people knocking down our doors and murdering us. I do not live in fear because I am a Christian. My freedom to privacy and freedom of religion are still intact while millions around the globe can’t even imagine it. I have time not just for the necessities, but also the pleasures of life and creativity.
Look at the countries in the world. The ones with the most freedom produce the largest amount in the creative arts and scientific advancements. You don’t exactly hear of any award-winning films or new potential cures to cancer coming out of North Korea, now do you?
Freedom and creativity go together. Freedom and individuality also go together. In America, we are allowed to be individuals who make our own choices. In communist nations your right to chose and live your life as your own person are taken by the government. Society becomes colorless and gray. The motivation to create and grow are stunted by the invasive control of the government.
Why do we have this freedom here in America? 2 reasons.
(1) God has blessed us immensely.
(2) Brave men and women have given their lives over the past few hundred years to defend out freedom.
There are many forces in the world that hate our guts because we are free. They would love to either enslave or obliterate us. Many forces have tried. But in every case, there have been brave souls who were willing to sacrifice themselves so that their brethren might remain free.
Even now, as we celebrate today, there are radical groups of people around the world in places like the Middle East and North Korea who would love to see us come to harm. There will never stop being threats to freedom because being free is good, and the opposite of evil.
To every man and woman who ever stood up in the face of evil and said, “No”, and died for their stand, I say thank you. To those whose loved ones paid the ultimate price so that I might be free to write this article today, thank you. I can’t imagine what you must feel on this day, and I know my simple ‘thank you’ can never cover your loss. To those who are still alive and stepping forward willingly to stand in the gap between evil and freedom, I say, thank you. You are in my heart and my prayers. These thanks go out to all soldiers, law enforcement officers, and even civilians who have given their lives to protect what is good and free.
Live, love, and create. We have been given a tremendous gift that most of the world will never ever experience. This gift has come with a price, one that was paid willingly by brave souls, and is still being paid today. Celebrate your freedom, and don’t feel shame in it. But do take the time to recognize the rare treasure you have been given.
God Bless, Happy Memorial Day!