"Oh, you're from where it's nice" said the workman as he looked at my car's Virginia plates. I found myself saying, "it's been beautiful here" to which he responded. "just wait".
"We don't have 'free' health care; in fact, it's not "health care" at all - unless you're not sick. Americans don't 'get' that..." said our neighbor who was recently treated for his cancer, in Michigan, after the system here told him they could see him in 18 months. I was struck, as he pressed the point, that people in the U.S. are naive about how socialized medicine actually works.
"Want to keep your job? Buy locally" read the NAFTA-inspired bumper sticker on the car in front of me. The optimistic patriot in me thought, "oh, that's nice... I believe in buying locally" before I realized the sticker was almost threatening in its tone. Ouch.
Here's what I think, and you know how I love politics... Americans live under the freest government on the planet and yet we find plenty to complain about, don't we? If you've ever read The Light and the Glory you know we, as a nation, were predestined to be a light to the world. What an honor.
I feel privileged to be an American. It's not just the creature comforts that make me miss the U.S. All countries have a sense of national pride, and they should. But God (don't you love that phrase in Scripture?) predestined me to live in the home of the free and the land of the brave. I don't need a holiday to remind of that.
God plants each one of us exactly where He wants us - regardless of nationality. Where I come from is part of who I am, but where I'm going is part of who He is.