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OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Freedom is a gift of God for everyone

By Gary Miller

Thomas Paine wrote, concerning our freedom; "That which we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value." That statement could be applied to many things in our lives, whether it’s our freedom to own a gun and hunt or our freedom to worship and have free speech. It does seem, many times, we “esteem these things too lightly,” because many of us have obtained them at a price paid by someone else or one obtained at a very cheap cost to ourselves.

When I think about that statement I think of all of those who are overseas, who are paying the price for the freedoms you and I are enjoying here and now. I’m so thankful the soil that I turn is not full of land mines and the skies I stand in awe of are not filled with bombers and fighter jets. I’m so thankful I am not under a dictatorship and my money and goods are not distributed equally among everyone else. The price of these freedoms was not obtained cheap and neither are they protected that way. As you have heard, “Freedom is not free.”

Outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen ought to be the most patriotic people around and our children ought to be the same. We must not only teach them to hunt and fish and enjoy the outdoors but to respect and honor those who carry a gun into a foreign land so we can carry one into a familiar one.

But not only are our military protecting freedom, they are also providing it to anyone who will take it. Why? Because freedom is not an American property and we are not its owners. We are simply one of its stewards. Freedom is a gift of God for everyone. To keep it to ourselves would be like having the cure for cancer and yet not sharing it with the world. Freedom makes us obligated. Sometimes the cure is painful. Just ask those who have gone through chemotherapy or radiation. But the pain will lead to a better life. May God bless all of those who enjoy freedom. May God bless all who yearn for freedom. And may God bless all of those who are protecting and providing freedom.

Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at

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