How true. In 1970 Joni Mitchell brightly sang this chorus, “Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.” True in principle. However, try as we may to the contrary, we find it difficult to appreciate what we have, just just navigating our busy, cluttered, and over-stimulated lives. Consequently, our freedoms often aren’t truly loved until they are sadly lost.
Freedom is a big word, let alone concept. It is so vast and incredibly deep. Frequently taken in many ways, freedom is often defined by our own perspective and experience. However, as much as it is treasured, it is also taken for granted. As the lyric goes, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.
Freedom has many applications. Freedom is applied for the case of an important cause or in the case of a significant right. It can be applied for the sake of a whole nation such as ours or for the sake of an individual person such as you. Freedom can be applied to the physical, mental or spiritual part of a being. For that matter it can pertain to anything that lives and has its being.
Freedom is precious. Sadly, so often it is not highly valued until it can no longer be practiced. Such has been my experience. What I once thought clearly understood, I truly did not, and likely could not. In some respects for me it has been a rude awakening of reality, yet in such reality, it is not so surprising. How could I perceive the depth freedom goes with its positive affect, until losing the “little things.”
Freedom is a gift. Period. Yes, sometimes it comes at a sacrificially high price. Perhaps that is because it was carelessly abused or undervalued. And, like some gifts that we return after the Birthday Celebration or the Christmas Season, this gift is sometimes exchanged for something perceived more valuable. I do it. You do it. After all, it is our freedom to do so!
Freedom is subtle. When I now watch a child freely run across the lawn, or see a jogger aggressively work the roadside, I inwardly ache to do the same like my legs once allowed. When a car rolls away out of my sight, its driver already preoccupied with the next destination and activity, I wish that I had such independence again. When an individual expresses a few words while holding the doorknob in my room, then quickly exits unhindered, leaving me alone to the limited space of my own chair, I frustratingly wish I could easily do the same. Such freedoms are loved only when lost. You don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.
However, there is one freedom I have and hold dear — my freedom in Christ. My faith in Him is nothing but a gift given me from Above, which I received and intend to keep until my last breath. This freedom gives me strength and grants me perspective when other freedoms are lost to me. [Galatians 5:1]. No matter what good or bad comes my way in this life, that which will always stay within me, will be the freedom I have in Christ. Such freedom will never be gone, only the chance to probe its depth further.
What has it taken for you? What will it take for us today? For me, sometimes it takes a parking lot of pain to realize just how profound is the freedom I have in Him!