OUTDOOR TRUTHS: Time To Celebrate Freedom
By Gary Miller
One of my favorite topics to share with young people is on the subject of time. While it is hard for them to grasp the concept of the brevity of time, I try to help them begin to see its value. And the older I get, the more valuable time becomes. I recall, even at this moment, a friend of mine who is dying of cancer. He is educated and wealthy by most standards and yet his one desire is not more education or monetary possessions. It’s time.
That’s why I tell young people to be on time and to be prepared. If you do not do both, you have wasted – even stolen- the most valuable thing a person has. I think freedom could also be included in the category of the most valuable things we have. Once again, if I have wealth but no freedom to use it, what good is it? Or, if I have multiple degrees and do not have the freedom to pursue my call, what use is the education I have received? No, to ask the wealthy or educated prisoner what their greatest desire would be; it would be freedom.
But if being late or unprepared steals time, what steals another’s freedom? I think we would all admit that laws always stifle freedoms. And the more laws that are in place, the more freedoms we lose. I’m thankful that when America was formed it was not formed with the idea of control but with the idea of freedom. American’s love freedom and the idea of freedom’s being lost is what causes most of us to vote a certain way. We fear a law that might be put in place that would hinder our freedom.
In the same way for the Christian, we desire freedom, and that is good. It’s also what God desires for us as well. It was the Apostle Paul who said, “For freedom Christ has set us free.” It’s like asking someone “Why did you set that person free?” and them answering, “So, they can be free!” Freedom has its own benefits. It is both the action and the result of the action, and it is seated deep within the soul of every human, everywhere.
But if there is this longing, does it mean there is the existence of its fulfillment? To paraphrase C.S Lewis, does the fact a baby feels hunger, prove the existence of food? Or because a duckling wants to swim; does it mean there is such a thing as water? I think it does, and I also think that freedom is a longing that all men have but only Christ can fulfill. It was Paul again that said, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” This must mean, where the Spirit is absent, so is real freedom. But what is it replaced with? The law of course. And just like every other part of our life, the law will never produce the liberty we long to enjoy. Only grace will – and has.
Gary Miller can be reached via e-mail at Gary@outdoortruths.org