July 4th is a day we celebrate our freedom with friends, family and fireworks! It’s also a day you’re apt to hear the phrase “freedom isn’t free”. This phrase is most often used, and rightfully so, in reference to the sacrifices made by so many in defense of our freedom; however, I want to take a moment and focus on another context.
“Freedom isn’t free”, by its very nature freedom cannot exist without sacrifice. I have the freedom to go to a movie, but it requires a sacrifice of money and time. I have the freedom to go for a run, but it requires a sacrifice of energy and time. All freedom requires sacrifice; however, some freedoms naturally lead to more freedom, while others will naturally lead to additional sacrifice.
I have a friend who once visited Asheville, North Carolina with his wife. Upon their return to Texas, his wife expressed frustration that my friend wouldn’t get out of the car and see any of the sites. Asheville is a beautiful town in the southern Appalachian mountains with numerous opportunities to hike, kayak, explore and tour historic sites such as the Biltmore, the largest home in the United States. My friend is a lover of history and nature, this trip should have been a wonderful experience for him and his wife. However, my friend was very overweight and too physically out of shape to participate in activities that required much physical exertion. Over the years he had exercised his freedom to not be physically active, he had exercised his freedom to eat as he pleased, his sacrifice was life experiences that his body would now not permit.
Did he admit to feeling as if he had missed out? Not at the time, he convinced himself that he really had no desire to join his wife in the activities. He appeared to be exercising his freedom, but in reality he was living out his sacrifice.
Freedom will always require a sacrifice. We will either suffer the sacrifices imposed by our freedoms, or enjoy the freedoms bought by our sacrifices. True freedom comes from the sacrifices we are willing to make, the opportunities we are willing to pass, the disciplines we voluntary impose on ourselves.