Who we are is God's gift to us, who we become is our gift to God. The luck of the draw of where we are born is something we have no control over. Those of us fortunate enough to be born free to become whomever we dream of, and are willing to work for in America didn't earn it. It was one of our ancestors who paid the price to raise their families in the freedom of America giving us this great gift.
Recently I was talking on my blog about thin threads, and also about how coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous, it is so amazing how close America came to not having George Washington born here at all. The more you study our founding it is very difficult to imagine someone else who could have galvanized all the disparate colonies, and colonists to survive the rigors of the Revolution and could hold us together through those first few years. No one else was trusted enough, was universally loved and respected as was George Washington.
Jeremiah 1:5 "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Though this wasn't written about George Washington, the first part was written about each of us. Was this story just one of those "coincidences?"
Englishman George Gale married a widow from Virginia, Mildred Washington, and brought she and her three children from her previous marriage back to London. Soon after they arrived back in England Mildred died in childbirth. In her will she asked her new husband to raise her children, and she left him the money to do so. He put the two boys, Lawrence and Augustine, into an English boarding school, and applied for legal custody.
The boys were becoming proper Englishmen until the Mildred's first husband's family back in Virginia disputed the will. The custody battle took years to sort out all the issues, but eventually a court ruled that the children should return to Virginia to be raised by their blood relatives there.
This ruling had a dramatic effect on American history. Mildred's first husband was Lawrence Washington. Her son Augustine, brought back to America from England, eventually had three sons of his own. He named one of them after his stepfather George Gale. That was George Washington, who would never have been born had his father stayed in London and never met his mother in Virginia.
If this custody battle had ended differently it is hard to imagine American history playing out as we know it. Just being born here was God's gift to us and George, what George did with it was his gift to us and God.