I love July 4th. Not just because of the fireworks, barbeque and excitement that Independence Day brings. I love it because it's a holiday that celebrates the greatest gift to humanity... freedom.
Beyond politics, every American should celebrate and take a stand for Freedom. It is our core value and ideal that makes America a beacon of light and hope for the rest of the world.
If you consider the great struggles and triumphs throughout history, they are stories of an oppressed group of people who sought, desired, and found freedom. The quest for freedom is also a story that lives inside each and every one of us.
I remember many years ago when I went on a book tour for The Energy Bus. I drove thousands of miles and visited 28 cities. My wife and kids joined me for a small part of the trip but I also spent many hours, days and miles driving alone.
At one point on the journey I looked in the rearview mirror and realized I had all this stuff on my bus that I didn't need. Why did I travel with all these bags of useless stuff for so long, I wondered?
I believe every one of us can say the same about our life journey. We hold on to bags that only weigh us down. For some it's the bags of the past or the bags of disappointment. For others, it's the bags of distrust, self-doubt, mistakes, fear, anger and pain.
We may live in a free country but we are often imprisoned by our negative thoughts and emotional baggage.
You know the baggage I'm talking about. They affect your work, your life and your relationships. Just as I looked in the rearview mirror of my bus, you can look in the rear view mirror of your life and know which bags need to be left behind.
Then you can do what I did. I didn't want to drive heavy. I wanted to travel light. So I let the bags off the bus. You can do the same. As author Max Lucado says, "You can release the burdens you were never meant to carry."
I remember the moment I let the bags off my bus. I was somewhere past Phoenix driving through the desert. I found a big trash can and put the bags where they belonged. I got back in the bus with the past behind me and a road full of daylight ahead. A big smile came upon my face. I was now free to enjoy the ride. I hope you'll do the same... and experience true freedom.