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  • Writer's pictureJoni Topper

Most patriotic thing I may ever do.

Updated: Mar 18, 2020

I recently found a note to myself that said “the DOING causes the changing.” As this thought rolled around in my head, I wondered whether my actions would convince anyone that I believe this statement. The words were mine but were they hollow or powerful? James 1:22 reads, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” When I wrote this thought down, I did not know we were entering the COVID 19 crisis. Today the question is, what should I DO to change this life-threatening situation?

When a family takes on the responsibility of a pet, someone usually has the assigned duty of feeding and cleaning up after the pet. (Today the family is America and the responsibility is for our health.) The member who bears the responsibilities will be the person who considers the pet theirs. Their doing promotes a sense of ownership. Our faith is the same. If we take no responsibility in the relationship, we do not feel connected. The daily news explains that each of us is connected to this crisis whether we want to be or not. The health and economic security of the entire world is connected. How does this tie in with James instruction to DO?

When we do our part to secure health, we preserve our very life. The life that God can use to minister, to serve to help and to be light in this very frightened society. Just as with taking on the responsibility of a pet, those who take on the responsibility of staying safe will be the ones who possess a sense of ownership over this situation. If you need to feel like you have some control, take control, take responsibility, become part of the solution. Children of the most high God have tremendous power in the midst of the dark. They are light. Be who you are in Christ. Jesus’ actions seldom looked like the world expected.

Our nation finds itself in the middle of a crisis. I have never been enlisted in the armed services, but I consider myself patriotic. Going to the polls to vote is indeed the action of a good citizen but it really does not require much sacrifice. Just as the family member who cares for the pet considers the pet to be theirs, today is a day we can take action that will help us feel ownership of this great nation. Today as I consider what I will do and where I will go, my choice may be one of the most patriotic things I will ever do.

Will I take responsibility for my health and the health of my nation? Will I take responsibility for the health of my family members whose occupation sends them daily into the hospitals to work? My choice will be to stay safe so that I am not one of the patients requiring them to put their life at risk. I believe my choice will allow me to do rather than just talk about my citizenship in this family we call America. Let’s face it, being part of a great nation means being great. If my actions are not noble, they do not reflect that of a great nation. We can act as individual leaders of ourselves and show the world and our neighbor next door that we care about their health as well as our own. This is patriotism. We are all going to pass through this season. Let us make it one that defines us as a people who will DO (or in this case not do) what we need to in order to protect our family.

America, America God shed His grace on thee.

And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.


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