The place I always go to first when the term “freedom” comes up is the political route. That seems to be the common thread in most conversations about the subject, and particularly via the media. But, as I sat in my “quiet time” spot this morning, that word popped into my mind for some reason (gee, I wonder how that happens?), and the source of my freedom begged for a broader explanation. This is what occurs to me:
1. My country gives me freedom. The constitution spells out very specifically what kind of freedoms this includes. You know them well: speech, assembly, worship, due process, no discrimination, and others. It is an amazing list that women and men continue to die to preserve, and one that is still the envy of communities around the world.
2. God gives me freedom. Freedom FROM something – the destructive grip of evil – and TO BE something – all that I was created to be. I believe I was created by God. I believe He didn’t do that haphazardly, that He placed within me certain specific skills and interests, and that He did so for particular reasons of His own. And now, He’s freed me to discover those and to dive in with abandon.
3. Well-being gives me freedom. Being healthy is an amazing blessing, one of which I’m conscious all the time. Also, being retired is like opening the largest present under the tree every day. We’ve saved a little money, and my wonderful wife still brings home the bacon, so I have this amazing latitude for spending my days however I desire. Wow.
4. The love from my wife and family gives me freedom. When you’re loved unconditionally for just who you are, it frees you up to be exactly who you are. There are no requirements for pretending in order to measure up to someone else’s model. How can I ever repay that?
All these people, God Himself, my blessed situation – all these form my freedom team and have given me what I could never produce myself. When I try to imagine my life without this… well, I can’t imagine it. So, how do I react? What could possibly be an adequate response? Maybe that’s another session at my “quiet time” spot….. But, one required response for sure is gratitude. Bottom of the heart, daily, reciprocal, boundless gratitude. You might notice that I smile a lot. Being free causes me to smile a lot, and for that, I am grateful.