Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…   

“You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13

The word “independence” did not appear in the text of the Declaration of Independence. Independence is mostly an illusion. No nation or individual is actually independent. No nation or individual would thrive or survive on its own. There is little doubt that the American Revolution would have failed without our allies. The struggle for American independence was dependent upon the support of our French, Spanish, and Dutch allies. After the Revolutionary War was over, the British exported more goods than ever to the new “independent” nation known as the United States of America. The 244 years of prosperity that followed the Revolution were, in fact, totally dependent upon our trade and cooperation with nations outside our borders.

Independence is mostly an illusion. The survival of a newborn baby is entirely dependent upon their caregivers. As we get older and stronger, we would like to think that we are independent, but nothing could be further from the truth. My underlying incompetence would make me among the first to perish. I would have no chance of survival on my own. I just recently discovered that there was a washer and dryer in my house. I could never really understand what happened to those dirty clothes. On my own I would have been dead years ago. I came from farmers, but I don’t even know how to garden. If I am not feeling well, I call the doctor. If I have a problem in my condo, I call someone to diagnose and repair the problem. I don’t know where my water comes from, and I really don’t understand electricity. Is it just me? How long would you last, left to your own devices?

Independence is an illusion. We are totally dependent. I have benefited my entire life from the labor and skill of others. I drive on roads that I did not construct. I attended schools that I did not build. I eat food that I did not raise. I trust ferry workers to get me across the Sound and Boeing workers to get me across the world. If independence were a sport, I would only get a participation award.

Our life comes to us as a gift. We have nothing to do with our own creation. We rely on others and in the end, when the illusion of independence is uncovered, we have nowhere to turn but to God. Independence is an illusion. Control is an illusion. I am OK with that. I do not need to understand everything. In fact, I am much more comfortable trusting God and my neighbor. I sleep better at night knowing that God and neighbor are looking out for me.

Happy Independence Day! Take time today to give thanks for those who allow you to be so independent.

One day closer!

Pastor Jim

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