America is quickly approaching another 4th of July. As I write, we are still experiencing state government COVID-19 restrictions; state and church leaders in agreement to keep religious institutions closed; governors issuing executive orders and bypassing the legislative branch, and small business owners treated worse than criminals. Is this the spirit of the July 4th celebration?

I am not passing judgment, but rather, reminding all that the 4th of July is about celebrating the birth of our nation. A nation formed on freedom from the wrath of human ego and greed, whether these materialize from a monarchy or a destructive form of government ignoring the basic rights of its citizens. God has given each of us unalienable rights such as Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Human dignity originated from the certitude that men and women were created in the image of God and that belief serves as the foundation of the Declaration of Independence.

How lost is this simple point of faith now? The world is full of distractions, which are magnified and multiplied by the advance of technological devices and numerous entertainment alternatives, some displaying 24-hour news, sports, and weather, often interrupted by the constant “breaking news” and “weather warning.” This addiction to the daily barrage of opinion exercises one of the God-given rights we have — free will. Free will enables us to determine what we do with our daily lives. In my opinion, one of the impacts of decreased faith is the elimination of the daily acknowledgment of God, whether in the form of a short prayer or thanking God for the blessings bestowed upon oneself and family.

I am too addicted to devices and often do not use my free will wisely. Yet, I have an idea, which although it took me a while to actualize, does work. The next time your mobile device goes off, rather than respond like a trained circus act, say a short prayer to God or think of something nice. In my case, the habit of speed-responding to every text or email started years ago with my first blackberry. Perhaps by doing the above you can sow the seeds of a new behavior. Don’t be discouraged into thinking that device addiction is not easy to minimize or overcome. Even if, periodically, throughout the day you spend up to 15 minutes doing the above, what a nice change of pace that would be. And don’t worry the email or text will still be waiting for a response.

Finally, there is a need for God in this country. God represents love and peace and who wouldn’t want more love and peace in their lives? Fifteen minutes a day is not much to ask in order to repair your faith and furthermore revive prayer in our country.

God Bless and Happy Birthday America!

This article was written by Kevin J. Wilson, author of Sully’s Squad.