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March on: Glimpsing eternity in the mundane

We have it good here in the land of cotton — and in the land of peaches. When Independence Day puffs its chest each July with bottle rockets’ red glares and fireworks bursting in air, we are reminded that it is by great sacrifice for the ambition to see all people free that we walk liberty-graced soil each day.

In our freedom, we inadvertently catch glimpses of eternity — an endless liberty intended for all people, free even from death.

I have seen it in little things throughout Chilton County: a peach auction that raises money for charity, a foster care ministry that fosters hope in young, often broken lives, law enforcement agencies that sacrifice much to see a community safe from harm, and remarkably in a volunteer promoted to the next life after years of selfless devotion to feeding the hungry.

The famed poet Julia Ward Howe caught a glimpse in the 1860s while observing a Union encampment during the American Civil War. Inspired, she wrote a renowned poem that became the battle cry of the Union and later a patriotic salute to the unified liberty now preserved: “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord … Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is marching on.”

Solomon the Wise once wrote that eternity is written on the hearts of men. Immersed in potential, people cannot help but dream wondrous dreams of a life thriving in the fullness of this potential.

The key, Howe suggests, is truth.

Certainly, we rely on truth to grant us glimpses of eternity. It is that search for truth that in its purest form drives our relationships, our ambitions — even our justice systems and business interactions — for it is truth that supplies and confirms meaning in this life.

It is the sustenance of liberty.

“The truth shall set you free,” Jesus is recorded stating in John 8.

And freedom is worth immense sacrifice.

“As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free while God is marching on,” Howe writes.

In Chilton County, we have numerous veterans who have risked or given their very lives in sacrifice to our freedom. Ask anyone in the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 33, American Legion, VFW Post 3193 and Central Alabama Military Retirees, and they will tell you it was worth it.

It is always worth it.

During this patriotic season, dare to seek a vision of truth to glimpse eternity around you. Even in the mundane, seize it and march on.