I remember the first time I heard the phrase, "My country, right or wrong." I was in college and one of my classmates was telling s why he was going to attend West Point. I admired his grit and his dedication but I was not sure about that phrase about supporting America if it was right or wrong.
In my youth I was pretty cocky. Back then I thought I was pretty smart and I tended to judge the actions of politicians and educators and preachers and public servants as inferior to me. I had a personality that was, "Often wrong but never in doubt."
My personality has not changed much but my attitude has. I am much more gracious toward others in leadership. My increase in graciousness has come as a result of several things.
1. I am older and age tends to knock off some of the rougher edges of one's personality.
2. My theology has changed. When I was younger I thought sin and human weaknesses were rather shallow things that could be easily overcome. A person could just choose how to ,live and do it. The Nike saying fit me fine: "Just do it!" My Grandmother Taylor had given me a very popular book by Sheldon to read and it influenced me greatly. It was called, In His Steps and the constant drumbeat of focus was to ask "What would Jesus do" and simply do it. Now I see sin, weaknesses and humanity as a tangled web of deep seated, unconscious drives and weaknesses which require God's grace, mercy and power to overcome.
3. My experiences have taught me that decisions are tough and leadership is very difficult. Mistakes are easy to make and understanding how to read the future impossible.The only law that is predictable is "The Law of Unpredictable Outcomes and The Law of Unintended Consequences".
4. I no longer desire to straighten everybody out as I once did.
5. God is in control
Having said all that, I am much more appreciative of the history of America. I see how amazingly wise were the founders. Despite their human weaknesses and lack of seeing the future they built a great foundation for us to live free and prosper.
God has blessed America. I hope the politicians who think they know better than the founders will grow in wisdom and grace as much as I and lay down their ideas about destroying the founding ideals.
May God bless us on this July 4, 2012