By: Steve Holt Sr.
I love America. But I am, first and foremost, a citizen of a Kingdom that is not built on man-made ideals, is not dependent on any “ism” to thrive, is not vulnerable to a more powerful army, and doesn’t encourage nationalistic arrogance.
I love liberty. But I love the freedom found in this Kingdom most—a freedom not won through the futility of war. It wasn’t negotiated through the political scheming of men and women. It is granted to each and every person who realizes and accepts the reality that our freedom cost God everything. This liberty frees us to give all, love unconditionally, grant mercy to all and gratefully receive everything as a gift.
I love the U.S. flag, but let’s face it; it’s just a piece of cloth fashioned by a seamstress. Thousands upon thousands who died so that we can fly the flag didn’t give their lives for that piece of cloth. They died for an ideal, a political system, a way of life or some other factor that will never compare in value to even one of those who lost his/her life.
I love independence. But I love interdependence more. I dream of a world in which people get along despite their differences because they respect one another, they need one another, they share a loyalty to an ideal that is loftier than party, pleasure, or personal agenda.
I love progress, but not at the expense of exhaustible resources, wildlife, clean air, my sanity and fellowman’s wellbeing.
I love air conditioning, a comfortable home, good food, nice clothes and a reliable car. But I must learn not to be dependent on any of these things, nor to consider them entitlements.
I love safety. But I realize safety is never guaranteed. Stuff happens to good, bad and indifferent people indiscriminately. I have no unalienable right to safety and know that no army, police force, neighborhood, fence, or weapon can fully protect me from personal harm.
I love the church. But I hate religion. The only measure of God’s church is the height and weight of a believer. The effects of church as God intends can’t be seen, only sensed. Religion boasts, manipulates, condemns, takes, controls, and fights to preserve itself. I hate religion. I really do.
I love family. But I really love kinship formed out of mutual respect, devotion to the Father, and is inclusive, welcoming and nurturing.
I love the USA. But I love planet Earth more, where, from space, you can’t tell where one nation begins and one ends.
I love Americans. But I love the family of mankind most.
I love Facebook, texts, Tweets, emails, phone calls and blogs. But I love seeing you face-to-face more.
Steve Holt Sr. lives in Abilene, TX. His new book, Intentional, In Jesus’ Name We Play offers a glimpse into life in a Kingdom not of this world.