Freedom is something that I’m very passionate about. My understanding of what it means to live in freedom has definitely evolved over time.
How I now view personal freedom is best summarized in a story I once heard about classical pianist Chris Crossan. At an event where he was performing, the master pianist invited an admirer to the stage after a lengthy, wonderful concert of music ranging from classical to contemporary. He sat the young man down at a very expensive, grand piano and gave him the freedom to play whatever sort of music he wished. The kid seemed dumbfounded and confused, but the master insisted.
“You have free use of a gorgeous piano you just heard play beautiful music, you have complete control of the stage, you have a completely captive audience willing to listen to whatever you freely choose to play – so play, son, play! Let your freedom and musical passions soar!”
But the boy didn’t know how to play piano and did not have any formal practice or training. After an awkward moment, Crossan went on to explain how “opportunity and freedom are not the same thing.”
Freedom is very often only something we receive after years and years of discipline, obedience and sacrifice. Frequently, freedom is something we don’t even properly value or understand until we have paid a very high price to guard or obtain it. In the words of our 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, “In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”