As we are here, watching sparkles of light over New York City, I confessed to my family, "I need to learn how to have an appropriate kind of patriotism."
"What do you mean?" my mom asked.
"I mean that I need a patriotism that is thankful for and loves my country, but not with the hatred for other nationalities that seems to come with most folks' patriotism [read: most Southern Mississippi patriotism]."
Because I would be dishonest if I didn't say that I am thankful for where I live; there are many things about the United States of America - job opportunities, absence of war and bombs, freedoms that truly are freedoms - that I am thankful for. And I can and will still acknowledge the injustices and imperfections that are present here in the USA. It is no secret to any of us that no matter our nationalities, we live in countries with flawed citizens, led by flawed [and often desperately inadequate] leadership, with flawed laws.
So today, I pray for an appropriate patriotism, never rising above my neighbors all over the world, and never, ever above my allegiance to the Kingdom of God [on earth, as it is in heaven].