What is freedom?
The dictionary says, “The power or right to act , speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”
Do we really understand what this means? Are we truly grateful for our freedom?
I speak only for myself when I say on the average day, not really. I’m so busy living in this freedom I’ve been afforded that I don’t take time to stop and really think about it. If I’m really being honest, I must confess that I take it for granted.
It’s easy to turn the channel when the news gets too “real.” It’s easy to scroll past the articles on FB that address the atrocities happening all around the world. I’ve been known to turn a blind eye when I get uncomfortable. What good will it do if I worry about this? After all, it’s not happening here. There’s that blind eye.
Last evening we were celebrating the 4th of July on the 3rd at the river resort we are privileged to spend our summer at. A young man was playing music as his mom led the folks on the beach in games and fun! As he finished the first portion of the evening he called up to the front all of those who are or have served in any of our Armed Forces. Four individuals went forward representing the U.S. Coast Guard and Air Force. He thanked them for their service and then proceeded to play Proud To Be An American. Many in the crowd (mostly older folks) stood as we honored these people and sang the song together. It was very emotional and got me thinking.
Am I proud to be an American? Do I even really know what it means? I’ve been on this earth 52 years and don’t know anything different. I’ve never suffered any political hardship or persecution. I’ve watched on TV or read about wars our country is fighting… from afar. I’ve participated in 5 or so presidential elections. I get out of bed everyday with little or no thought about my freedom or privileges. I don’t worry about it being taken away.
As I sit along the river early this morning with my coffee in hand and the wildlife scurrying around me, I’m pondering my freedom. My little dollar store flags I stuck in the fence to decorate for the holiday are gently swaying in the breeze. The day will get very hot and we will eventually head down to the river to keep cool. My fridge is stocked with 4th of July goodies. Tonight we will BBQ burgers, eat watermelon, drink summer beer and watch the fireworks at the local reservation. Freedom.
Freedom. It is all around me. I’ve taken it for granted. While I’m more sensitive to it today, I’m sure I’ll got back to forgetting it when the frenzy of tomorrow starts. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll think about it a little more. As I relish my freedom in Christ each day, maybe I’ll relish my freedom as an American more as well.
With age comes wisdom. I pray I can appreciate my freedom more before it’s taken away and then I only have a memory to hold on to. Freedom to live, love, laugh, share, bless and never take for granted all that God has given me.
What does freedom mean to you?