What Is Freedom?

      Those of us who live outside the fences and razor wire of prison have a tendency to take it for granted. Freedom is almost a holy thing and should be loved and protected.  In the Declaration of Independence it says something about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” being high ideals, BUT they can all be lost in this hard world.  My friend and cousin Andrew (who wrote links 25 & 35) was successful and is from a large family of successful people.  Having lost his freedom for a long time, he is now able to give “inside” perspective from prison on the subject.

      From a recent letter of his -- “My life here in prison is one of routine.  The same events occur from week to week and the routine makes the time go by quickly.  My variables are visits and letters so those things are real treats and highlights for me.  I get a visit from my brother and sister on March 30, 2013.  I am real excited for that.  My meals are on a six week rotation and that adds to my routine.  I know from day to day, week to week, year to year, just what the food offering is for each meal.  I have the menu in my room.  In a way it is comforting.  What I really like to do is study God’s word.  Now I finally have enough time to really get into God’s word as His word deserves.  This is not a casual book.  It has many layers of meaning and depth.  You have experienced this yourself . . . and God used my present problems to allow me to refocus or more aptly focus the way I should have in the first place on God’s word.  I now realize that my life is not about building my house or running my kids around from event to event.  It isn’t about my work, it isn’t even about my wife.  All of those things have been removed from my life.  When the judge cursed me with a loss of freedom he in reality blessed me with the most freedom I could ever have.  I now have what I should have had in the first place.  I looked in the wrong places for the answers and now I have a much better idea of where to find them.  Prison is a place of freedom really.  Freedom from debts, freedom from bill payments, house payments, car payments, insurance payments, freedom from home maintenance, freedom from car maintenance, freedom from the hassles of life.  I pick my own exercise time, my own nap time, my own study time.  I don’t have to collect rents from people who don’t or won’t pay for what they have already received.  I don’t have to go on vacations; I have a TV that can take me anywhere.  I don’t have to ride a bus, van, car taxi or train.  I am free.  It is ironic really.  I didn’t intend it to be this way but I am happy with how it is turning out.  Freedom is not being able to go where you want when you want.  If that was the case then a lot of people are locked into place by the economics.  Freedom is of the Spirit and you can’t lock that down."     Andrew H.

    Now I have heard that “it’s not what happens to you but how you take it, that’s important.”  My cousin’s attitude about long term incarceration and perspective on the true meaning of freedom is priceless. Many lose hope, and fall into despair, and have a horrible lack of peace of mind in prison.
      I would hope that my readers can appreciate their freedom AND become truly free in Christ as Andrew has explained above.  The sin of this world has the power to ruin folks, as an old preacher once said “Sin is the hardest of all masters – it promises happiness and brings hell, it promises joy & brings judgment . . .”  W. Herschel Ford.  Jesus said, “If you continue in my word . . . you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free . . . If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”   John 8:31b, 32, 36   Millions of folks including myself have learned that a connection with Jesus Christ can be an adventure in FREEDOM, regardless of one’s circumstances.  God’s presence & blessing in one’s life can change lemons into lemonade. Choose Jesus.  He is alive.  And experience freedom from the power of sin, & victory in Christ.  True freedom indeed.

Many other Titles:  www.gospelnotes.net - Link 1 is Index                                               *  *  F. J. Stone  *  *
                                                                                                                                                                   42