I love being an American. I take pride in being an American (even if it is not politically correct, popular, or the “spiritual thing to do” – patriotism seems to be under attack from all directions lately!) Having lived overseas for four years made me sincerely grateful to have been born in such a wonderful nation. It is almost impossible to express the emotion that swelled up inside me every time I arrived back in my native country after having been absent for long periods of time.
Of all the ideals that America embodies, the one that I associate most with her is FREEDOM. Freedom is too large an idea to be explained in a few sentences or paragraphs. There is no way I could, with words, do justice to an idea that people have willingly given their lives for.
However, because most of us have not had to personally pay the price for the freedom we enjoy, I fear that we value it too lightly. We give it away, or allow it to be taken from us in small, day-to-day actions:
- Holding on to bitterness
- Buying things we cannot afford, on credit
- Continuing in bad habits or addictions that hurt our health and shorten our life
- Wasting our days on the unimportant, rather than choosing to pursue what we say we value
- Being concerned about others’ opinion of our lives, rather than living up to our own values and principles
Freedom gives us the right to make good decisions and bad decisions. However, some decisions can lead us into a life of slavery: slavery to consumer debt, addictions, negative behaviors; while other choices lead to positive change, hope for the future, and a life well spent living out the values we cherish.
Which type of freedom will we choose TODAY?