As we approach Thanksgiving week, my thoughts turn to the many blessings which God has bestowed upon me, not the least of which is the free country in which I make my home.
George Shultz served as Secretary of State for the United States during the Reagan administration. During that time, he kept a large globe in his office. When he interviewed newly appointed ambassadors or met with ambassadors returning from their posts abroad, Shultz would test them. He would say, “Go over to that globe and prove to me that you can identify your country.” They would go over, spin the globe, and without fail, would put their finger on the country to which they were appointed as ambassador.
When Shultz’s old friend and former Senate majority leader Mike Mansfield became ambassador to Japan, even he was put to the test. This time, however, Ambassador Mansfield spun the globe and put his hand on the United States. He said: “That’s my country.”
In 1993, Shultz related this story to Brian Lamb on C-Span’s Booknotes. He said, “I’ve told that story, subsequently, to all the ambassadors going out. ‘Never forget you’re over there in that country, but your country is the United States. You’re there to represent us. Take care of our interests and never forget you’re representing the best country in the world.’ “
I am sincerely grateful for my country and the freedom that is afforded me here. Yet, I am also conscious of the reality that the United States is not my true home. I am a citizen of Heaven!
Wherever you dwell in this world, may your heart be filled with gratitude for the provision God has made for you in that place. But above all, may you realize that you are but an ambassador in the world, representing Jesus Christ, the King. Your home is in Heaven – and that’s cause for true thanksgiving and praise!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!