I was raised by parents who came of age in the 60’s. It was the tune in and turn on era, this generation expected us to think for ourselves.
By the time I was 15, I was putting together budgets on how to get my own place and be free of the tyranny of the parents. I had the teenage angst early on. I understood that if I were going to be really free, I would need a job of some sort, money filtering in, and a place to put my pillow at night. I was even looking in the local newspaper, yes before Craigslist or Internet, at the used furniture ads to see what it was going to cost me for a bed and a dresser. Oh, there were no expectations of taking my bedroom furniture with me. I don’t know why I didn’t think I could take the furniture. I don’t know how that was instilled, no one ever said it, I never felt like I was borrowing it, but I had this idea that one day I would leave for college and my room would remain as my parent’s shrine to me. I knew that they’d pay for college, but I also knew that I’d have to get a job for the extras.
There was nothing in my DNA that prepared me to live a life of slavery to a system not of my own choosing. I was free to be whatever I wanted to be as long as I could pay the price my style of freedom would offer. That was all before I realized about the cost of freedom.
We cry out for freedom but do we really understand the cost? The cost to true freedom isn’t free, it isn’t even cheap. The cost for freedom is high. Freedom requires self control. It is easier to be a slave than a free man. A free man is required to make decisions daily that each produce a consequence, some of them good and some of them bad. A free man must walk those decisions out daily whether he feels like it or not. A slave only needs to be told what he must do.
To be truly free we can’t blame anyone for where we are. The responsibility falls squarely on our shoulder. We can’t hold anyone accountable for funding our freedom, and although we will need help to get to where we are going, that help will be reciprocal and not one sided. To be truly free, we must yoke up carefully with like-minded people who aren’t heading in a direction that takes us off course. In fact, we must be careful about this because we may hear what we want to hear and fail to see what we need to see. We must do our homework to know what we believe and what we don’t. We can’t afford to be swayed by what is false. Freedom requires that some things are done not because we like to do them but because we need to do them to get to the finish line.
Freedom isn’t getting to do what we want whenever we want at any cost. That’s lawlessness. Freedom is doing the work first that then affords us the ability to walk out our path and it never ensures smooth sailing but it ensures that we have what it takes to make it one way or another.