A different celebration of the Fourth of July

Well, the Fourth of July, the USA’s birthday, has been here and gone. How different it was from recent years gone by!

The weather proved to be rather usual – very hot but not humid. Some recent years it has been questionable if fireworks would be held due to the dry countryside. Of course, I’m talking about local weather – not the nation as a whole.

No question this year! And it wasn’t the weather that brought about the decision. Instead, it was the coronavirus that has taken over management of our lives. Fireworks could have been held, I suppose, if social distancing weren’t required and large crowds prohibited.

In my mind, it took me back to the Fourth celebrations of my growing-up years. As a kid, at home on my family’s farm, I don’t recall any celebrations at all. Though my brothers were permitted “big” firecrackers, I was limited to having only “lady” firecrackers. I always thought they should have been called “baby” firecrackers, but they did make a little noise. And, of course, there were sparklers.

Along came teen years at the county home in Ottokee, and that remained the same. As a high school band member, I recall marching in some summertime parades but were they for Independence Day or for the town’s annual summer festival?

One year in Kentucky, where I was a member of the local rescue squad, we did have fireworks. The squad paid for and put on the display, and quite a display it was! Those setting them off were at the far end of a local lake while the crowd of observers were across the lake. There was not only the display in the sky but it was somewhat reflected in the quiet waters of the lake.

Then came the move to Ohio, and again we didn’t celebrate. But after a few years we were invited to spend the evening of the fireworks show with my brother and his family. That was nice! At the time, it was best observed at Harmon Field, though we did try other viewing sites – including one of the churches that offered not only reasonably unobstructed viewing but also free popcorn! Finally the celebration outgrew that site, and Dorothy Biddle Park was developed and became the preferred site. Those who didn’t want to participate in the early activities could park at any number of places along Shoop Avenue that provided good viewing, free parking, and easy access to the street for going home.

Then came 2020! I read that Delta was having a display but I also noted they were alone in their choice. Well, our nation’s birthday is definitely cause for celebration! Truly, “The land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Oh, as a nation, we have our problems, of course. And we’re not always in agreement with our government, but from our vantage point take a look around the world and see if you could find a better place to live.

The only better place I see is heaven itself.

Oh, there will be no fireworks display when you arrive at the pearly gates – just Someone checking the Book of Life to see if your name is written there for, truly, that is where the rubber meets the road – if your name is not there, you will be denied entrance into heaven for all eternity.

If that is still a question in your life, there is no promise of tomorrow. Make that decision today. Be ready when He calls your name. It could be sooner than you think.