“Don’t be thinking the grass is greener on the other side. It’s the same everywhere.”
We heard this a lot, especially from ourselves, when we moved to Texas nearly seven months ago. (It’s harder to be disappointed when you have no expectations, right?)
I’m not going to lie and pretend this part of America and our previous home in Canada are the same. They simply aren’t; they are two different worlds. If freedom is a color, then this side of the fence is greener.
The Canadian government has essentially locked a certain segment of its population inside, made it unaffordable, illegal, or logistically impossible to travel, and is working tirelessly to ban foreign media, pushing hard to become the sole determiner of what information can be accessed online.
Then people won’t know what they’re missing and perhaps lose their desire to leave. Theoretically. One small problem: this strategy has been tried and failed without exception many times in history.
After World War 2, embarrassed by the seemingly endless flow of refugees from Soviet-controlled East Germany to the free West, the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961.
Overnight, families were separated, jobs were lost to those who had to cross the East-West border for work, trains and subway lines were halted completely for 28 years. Those guarding the wall shot to kill anyone who tried to escape.
Over time, many people got used to living with the physical and ideological barrier between freedom and communism. They became like children, happy making mud pies in the slums because they could not envision a holiday by the sea. (C.S. Lewis)
But not everyone accepted that life behind the Iron Curtain was the “new normal.” They had tasted freedom once and the flavor had stuck.
They recognized that if they did not stand for freedom, they would have to sit in shackles, and so, with great risk to themselves and their families amid wire-tapped houses, government-controlled media, and spies on every corner, they exposed evil for what it was, until the wall was toppled in 1989. “Only today,” spray painted one Berliner on a remaining piece of wall, “is the war really over.”
It is evident the devil has a great foothold in The United States, too (in some places more than others), and it would be dangerous to think for one minute that the Destroyer is not prowling around every corner of this world.
Aside from the restraining grace of God, one of the biggest differences between Texas and Ontario is that there is a greater number of people here who are willing to use their freedom to hold their government to account.
The Apostle Peter exhorts believers to “live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil.” (1 Peter 2:16)
“You want to encourage evil?” R.C. Sproul asked, “Then ignore it. To keep quiet about it is to promote it. But the Apostle Paul calls us to not only be intolerant of evil within our midst, but he’s also called believers to expose it.”
On our first Independence Day in a little rural Texas town, it feels a little like we’re on the West side of the wall, hoping for the opportunity to reunite with our loved ones soon, who, through no fault of their own, are stuck on the other side.
Dear America, it’s hard to appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone, impossible to recognize the stark contrast until you’ve been removed from it.
For the sake of your children, read history.
Use your freedom for good; it is not guaranteed.
Stand for truth even if your voice quakes.
Pray for revival.
If the Emperor is wearing no clothes, say so.
Vote for godly men at the local level.
Write letters to your representatives.
Befriend your neighbors and devote yourselves to raising your children in the fear of the Lord.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. (Thomas Paine).
Freedom unused, dies.