A Surprising Perspective

As our plane approached LAX on the evening of our return from a vacation, a large number of passengers began making o-o-oh sounds. I glanced out my window and saw a most amazing and surprising sight - fireworks exploding everywhere for miles. It was an awesome and most interesting perspective of our nation's birthday celebration for the 4th of July. Of course I have seen many fireworks displays over the year, but never from a heavenly perspective.

I couldn't help but wonder at that point, what God thinks and feels as He looks down from His throne not only at the colorful splashes of glittering fireworks in California, but all across our nation's skies. Does it make him joyous to see us celebrating our blessings and heritage or does He weep over the vain partying of a nation that has strayed so far from the faith it was founded on?

A week later, after sharing this experience with some Christian friends, they told us of a recent experience they'd had while on vacation in Belgium. It was not for the 4th, but for another most important event's commemoration. Our friends, Larry and Beccy told us how they were in a restaurant with a large picture window near their table. Suddenly they began to see dozens of fireworks shooting into the sky. They learned that it was an annual celebration of the end of WWII. They also found out that at midnight the colorful display would end; the whole city would go totally dark and silent in reverent remembrance of all who lost their lives during that horrible war. Now that sounded like a well-balanced and meaningful commemoration.

We all like to celebrate and some of us look for the smallest reason to throw a party. I wonder, though, how much of what we do for holiday celebrations like Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter etc., actually expresses or produces appreciation and reverence for the true meanings.

The Israelites also had many festivals and feasts to commemorate Godly events in their lives. Often times they were also instructed by God to set markers of stone in certain places to help them remember His leading,blessing and protection. Sometimes they also built altars for sacrifice as commemoration. A friend of mine who endured terrible abuse all her life from her own mother, recently purchased a heart-shaped stone with words on it to help her remember God's love and path for her life.

As tender creations, I believe all of humanity craves joyous reflecting on even the most horrendous events which have affected their lives. It gives them a sense of hope in the midst of sad remembrances. it sets a marker for a new and better path for the future. Do you need to set a marker of hope to look toward when trouble threatens to steal away your joy? Remember that our Lord has a godly perspective on things. Ask Him to give you His vision for you in the circumstances. Psalm 121:1-2 says: "I will lift up my eyes to the hills-from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."

Painting Title: "Yellow Tree- a Bird's Eye View"

Iris Carignan

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Comments

Cousin Iris, I love the painting and the words that preceded it. I also have notices how in this country we have forgotten the true meaning of celebrations and have parties for just about anything. Trick or treating used to be for children when we were kids but now the sell adult costumes, some of which could be xxx-rated and the adults have parties while the kids are out alone. We even have parties for a football game -- every week every Sunday culminating in the Super Bowl.
The commemoration your friend saw was because the war hit them hard, destroying homes in addition to killing millions, and they show their reverence to the dead by going dark and silent. We were lucky, if you can call it that, that we Americans suffered only the deaths of hundreds of thousands of our men who died to protect us and our way of life. So, V-E day and V-J day go by unnoticed. No longer are there parades on the Fourth of July, it's just an excuse to head to the beach or the mountains. John Adams said "I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”
Now you can't even get any fireworks in most states and the firing of guns will get you locked up.
2015-07-26, Tito Stevens

Iris- your story gives me pause. Over the years, I remember being caught up in the secular aspects of holidays, buying presents, making Easter baskets, hanging flags, etc. The effort needed to create a celebratory atmosphere often overshadowed the reason for the celebration. Sadly, it represented a lost opportunity for a "teachable moment."
Now that I have grandchildren being raise in a non-believing household, I take every opportunity to insert God into our conversations and to acknowledge his creative and loving hand in all that we are. It has blessed me in my "old age," as if God were storing up his Word in my heart for such a time as this!
2016-03-13, Martha


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