But one time I was on the ocean floor in Hawaii when my oxygen tank ran dry and there was no more air to breathe. None. I will never forget the sensation of exhaling and fully expecting to inhale, but there was nothing to take in. No air. Nothing. It was empty. It was tight. It was scary. Air - that thing that sustains life and that I'd always expected - was no longer available. With the help of my scuba buddy, I shared her tank of air until we could surface. I learned to appreciate air like never before after that experience. I also learned to be more mindful of the little things that God provides so generously that I'd taken for granted. Like air.
Freedom was one of those things. I have always lived in a country with great freedom so it was easy to just expect it to be. Then I learned that only 4% of the world's entire population has ever known freedom. Not everyone takes it for granted. I am one of those few 4% that has had freedom, but because it was given so generously I came to expect it. Always. Like air.
Shame on me.
On one day a year - Veterans Day - I am reminded, lest I have forgotten, to give thanks to those who provide the vigilance, sacrifice, and service to protect and maintain God-given rights. On that day I'm given an opportunity to thank God and those men and women who preserve and provide freedom for America.
So, with a big, deep breath, "Thank you soldiers, past and present, who have watched over and provided safety and freedom to me while I raise my family, work, sleep, play, and pray. I am grateful to be free and humbled to be protected by you. Thank you. I appreciate your service and sacrifice. I appreciate you."
|Hooray for Soldiers|
Grace and I welcoming home soldiers who had been deployed to Afghanistan