Happy Birthday, Canada! (For those of you reading in various other parts of the world… Canada turned 151 on July 1st!) At the Mitton household, Canada Day usually represents the beginning of our summer holidays and sun, sand and fun! There is usually a sea of red and white and everyone seems to be relatively happy. Personally, if I was 151, I’d be worrying about wrinkles and how blotchy my skin looked decked out in red and white… but I’m not Canada, so I guess it’s okay. I’ve been to quite a few parts of this wonderful nation and I am happy to report, she looks pretty good for her grand ol’ age! We should be proud. This week I was reflecting a little bit about the end of school and moving on, and how Canada is portrayed within the schools I visit. When I was in elementary school, we learned to memorize all the provinces with this funny little song… it was so cheesy and the video isn’t much better… but it is still the only way I can name them all. Great. Now the diddy is stuck in my head and my kids are going to tease me about it. And my lack of geography skills. I am positive they sing much better songs at the library now… Let’s hope so! Besides, they added more territories to the list, which I am sure is part of the curriculum in 2018. Do they still have to colour maps in school? It was the only thing about geography that I really liked. Ahhh…. Canada!
I’m going to date myself even more, and tell you that we used to say that Canada is a “mosaic” and not a “melting pot” of people. This means that we are not simply assimilated into one, but a complex blend of many. A wonderful tapestry of unique threads woven together to create a single, big, beautiful picture. The wonderful thing about it is that so many cultures are represented here, so many futures shaped from generations of traditions brought over from other places, a unique mix of old, new and slightly murky mixes of both. We are certainly not perfect… and leaving all politics aside, there is no way that I can claim we haven’t had our fair share of ups and downs in the last 151 years; but we have much to be grateful for. I am blessed that I can learn from my neighbour, to sample rich and diverse foods, and to hear the melodious sounds of many voices — each in their own languages. To continue to learn and be educated. We are not judged by the clothes we wear, or the music we listen to, or the person we voted for. We are the true North, strong and free.
Won’t heaven be a bit like that? Can you imagine the sounds of thousands of generations praising God with one voice, and yet each one definitive and distinctly heard by our Lord? Each person a representation of a unique life, molded and shaped by the Master. Every soul carrying the memories of tears… both in joy and sorrow. (okay… I know… no sorrow in Heaven… but you know what I mean! 🙂 ) I love that! I love how God created us uniquely different! We share differently, we love differently, we fight differently, we learn differently! It should be a reminder to us, though… that we cannot share our faith with others in exactly the same way. We are all on journeys. What makes perfect sense to one, may not have any significance to others. Yet, Christ is perfectly the same. Unwavered by the push and pulls of a fallen world. Paul reminds us of this in Philippians 3: that our goal is not to be perfect (humanly speaking) but to follow the One who is! My friends, are you not encouraged by this?! He takes our mosaic — our shattered pieces of “us” — and makes one big, beautiful picture to present before our Maker in Heaven. AMAZING!
So… as you are putting away all the red and white decorations and fretting over all the BBQ goodies you ate this long weekend… be reminded that one day we get to celebrate again as perfect 151 year-olds! Our goal is not here on this land… but Heaven. Until then… here are some “uniquely Canadian” things just for fun:
- Crispy Crunch chocolate bars
- Tim Hortons (not only a hockey legend… but the best coffee ever… double double… also a phrase unique to us only!)
- Canadians built the first UFO landing pad in St. Paul, Alberta (1967) (hehe…St. Paul… get it?…eyes always on the heavens…)
- 15 500 out of the world’s 25 000 Polar Bears live in Canada
- we say “pencil crayons” not “coloured pencils” (and spell coloured with a “u” — oh geography map students!!)
- it’s pronounced “zed” not “zee” and “pop” not “soda”
And why not some Canadian inventions to round us out: the electron microscope (yeah science!), basketball, hockey, IMAX, insulin, the wonderbra (good thing…), heart pacemakers (also great!), and the blackberry phone (oh, I miss mine… but we are not perfect, right?) Happy Birthday, Canada.
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