The Cost of Freedom

With the political rancor in our culture I fear we are losing some of the foundational things that used to unite all Americans. Memorial Day was special growing up and not because of cookouts and the end of school. My generation had fathers who served in World War II and Korea. We were told about the sacrifices made on foreign soil. We believed that freedom was worth whatever cost needed to be paid. We knew someone who had lost a husband, brother, or friend in combat.
A song from Five for Fighting  called “Freedom Never Cries” is timely for this holiday. Writer/singer John Ondrasik writes personal and powerful songs that resonate with me. “Freedom Never Cries” is a song about how we take freedom for granted. Ondrasik talked about the song in an interview posted at liveDaily.

“It was definitely a statement song that has a point of view. I think it kind of speaks to the fact that, I know at least for myself, we tend to only appreciate things when we need them. Growing up here in the bubble of the United States, we are statistically lucky to be born into this country where freedom, to us, seems natural. We couldn’t imagine anything else. I think sometimes we don’t recognize that. Freedom never cries. Freedom doesn’t sit in the corner and whine and make us recognize it, per se. I think if you look at the world in general today, many countries don’t experience the same freedom of expression, freedom of religion, women’s rights, freedom of the press that we have. Obviously, that leads to a majority of the world’s conflicts today. I wanted to recognize that, “Hey, freedom has a price, it’s not a gift.” It’s a little reminder to ourselves, we’re some of the lucky ones here.”

Indeed. Perhaps we should take a deep breath and be grateful instead of displaying the behavior we see everyday in the news. Freedom is like your health. You don’t fully appreciate either one until they are gone.

H.L.Mencen once said, “We must be willing to pay a price for freedom, for no price that is ever asked for it is half the cost of doing without it.” Think about that.

And think about the lyrics of this song.

I never loved the soldier until there was a war
Or thought about tomorrow
’til my baby hit the floor
I Only talk to God when somebody’s about to die
I Never cherished Freedom
Freedom never cries…

Thank God today for the blessing of freedom. Thank God for the men and women who will not be home this holiday as they serve to keep our freedoms intact. And be especially thankful for men and women who were willing to pay the ultimate cost to protect our way of life. I cherish the freedom in America.

I also cherish another kind of freedom.

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.  (Galatians 5:1, NASB)

I am learning to believe who Jesus says I am and live out of that truth. The good news? It is freedom. Paul gave some great insight into how to live out this freedom that is ours.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  (Galatians 5:13, NLT)

Cherish both freedoms as a citizen of the United States and as a citizen of heaven. And take neither for granted.

Dave Burchett is the Author of Stay and Waking Up Slowly. A portion of every sale from both books goes to train service dogs for wounded veterans through Patriot Paws.