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Sunday, July 8, 2007

Independence

The last one to fledge

Declaration of Independence, the solemn declaration of the Congress of the United States of America, on the 4th of July 1776, by which they formally renounced their subjection to the government of Great Britain” as defined by Noah Webster’s Dictionary of 1828
When I think about independence, I ask independence from what?

As much fun as we had with our grandsons, we had a sense of independence when we deposited them at their new home in Alaska. We were suddenly free from the guidance of taking care of them. We spent a few days at a B&B nearby and flew back to Seattle to rest, celebrate the 4th and drive the next day to the islands.

Upon arrival I noticed that the barn swallows outside our back door had all fledged except for one. I view the first flights of newly hatched swallows as independence, free from the confines of a crowded nest of 5. But then, the one left is not crowded anymore either. The lone swallow could look like an independent one not wanting to leave the nest, but actually as the last to hatch, is the most dependent. In reality they are all still dependent as evidenced at night when they all return to the nest and nearby ledges chipping, chirping and fluttering, still trying to get fed by parents.

I used to think of myself as quite independent, sort of an individualist. I had the “I can do it myself” two year old mentality. I thought independence was the goal in life. I didn’t learn a lot from others nor receive a lot of help because I never asked. I lost out.

In reality no one is independent and I am grateful for the grace that found me and showed me truth. Webster stated his primary definition of independence, “A state of being not dependent; complete exemption from control, or the power of others; as the independence of the Supreme Being.” Independence is delusion for us. The only one in the universe that is truly independent loves us enough to ask us to depend on Him. So now I ask.

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