Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Whose Happiness?

Today is Memorial Day here in the States, which is a day set aside to remember all those who have devoted their lives to protecting the freedom that our nation stands for.  The United States of America is not a country; it is an ideal, the fundamental belief that all men were created equal.  Our forefathers wrote these immortal words in the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  – Thomas Jefferson

But whose happiness are we to pursue?  I do not believe that our forefathers sacrificed everything they had so that we all could be fat, dumb and happy.  I believe that they, and our soldiers today, serve because they believe in living for something bigger than themselves.

My call to ministry took place eight years ago while I was standing over the beaches of Normandy.  On June 6, 1944 over 10,000 men willingly gave their lives for the freedom of people they would never meet – they lived (and died) for something bigger than themselves.  That day I gave my life over to serving God.

I was 16 at the time, and I had the world by its ears:  I was an honors student, multi-sport athlete, had a different girl to sit with in every class and was considered a leader in my church – but I was miserable.  Pursuing God’s happiness is the only thing I have found that brings me fulfillment.

This Memorial Day, do not write off the sacrifices of those who gave their lives for our freedom.  Let us use this day to commit ourselves to being the best us that we can be.