Friday, July 4, 2008

Let Freedom Ring

It's been said that the best things in life are free. But are they really?

Free. According to there are 42 definitions for the word. Whoa. In light of the 4th of July, I've been thinking about the whole concept of freedom and being free. I've come to the conclusion that the best things in life are not free. Sure, they may be free for you and me, but somewhere down the line, a price was paid by someone. Naturally, one of the first things that I think of when I consider freedom is the fact that I was fortunate enough to be born here in this great land that is the United States and all the liberties associated with being a US citizen. I love the fact that I can live, worship and vote as I choose. Even more remarkable is that my next door neighbor can live, worship and vote in a completely opposite way and there is no one with any authority to tell us that can't happen. And it's not just freedom in the big's the little things too that really add up. Many of which we complain about. Well, I shouldn't speak for everyone, but I do anyway. For example, the puppy that I love so dearly apparently suffered from a shrunken bladder last night because he woke me up to go outside every 2 hours. I was less than pleased, but my biggest concern as I walked out the door each time was whether or not I was awake enough to make it down the stairs without tripping over his leash. (Ok, I'm not naive to the fact that all places in America aren't like this either) It still blows my mind to think that I was born here of all places. The land area of the entire world is almost 149 million square km and the land area of the US is just over 9 million square km so technically the odds were not in my favor. It's quite humbling actually when I consider other places I could have ended up and the ways of life there. Life here in the US hasn't always been as we know it though. Many brave heroes from long ago paid for the liberties we now refer to as our rights. Today if someone infringes on them, shame on that person and off with their head. Not really...they can keep their head. It does this little soul of mine good to know that there are still brave men and women who love our country enough to continue to fight that these rights remain ours (gee...this would be so much better if "God Bless the USA" was playing in the background). I have the utmost respect and appreciation for them and their families and it's an honor for me to be able to call some of these folks friends. My heart is heavy for the soldiers walking around with battle scars, both visible and invisible, and for the families who woke up this morning unable to celebrate the holiday with the soldier they love.

For me, there is also great freedom in knowing that there is a God who loves me...all of spite of me. And I'm reminded that while His love for me is free for the taking, there was an innocent life given so that this little soul o' mine will live forever.

So, nope...the best things in life are not free when it comes right down to it even though we are the beneficiaries of these great freedoms. Today when we're at our cook-outs trying to decide between a hotdog, hamburger, or chicken (or maybe choosing all three!) let's be mindful of the purpose of the gathering and grateful that we are privileged enough to be making such a decision.

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