The crucial question!, “How much does it cost?”

My amazing son-in-law gave me a book on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. As I reviewed chapter headings the one that intrigued me the most was “Freedom is not Free.”

This took me back to 40 years ago when I learned the best definition of freedom I had ever heard. It took me some reflective time before I fully understood.  

“Freedom in the length of rope between your neck and any given stake.”

Strain on the rope, and your neck will get sore; get close to the stake, and you have complete freedom of movement, and absence of pain.

What is it about us that we don’t want to get close to the stake? What is it about us humans, that we don’t learn from our mistakes?

It is recorded that after the brutal world wars, WWI and WWII, we had learned our lessons. No more wars!

Where did we learn this notion that freedom is free or at best, cheap to acquire?

Where did we learn to expect free lunches? What is it about us humans, that we expect life to be easy, to be free from hard work, disappointments, failures, suffering?

Scott peck, a famous psychologist and author proclaims, “Life is no longer difficult once you realize it is difficult.”

Patrick Henry’s famous cry, “Give me liberty or give me death.” Resonates with me as I walk freely through the cold winters of my life.

My theological hero and mentor, Ignatius of Loyola, father of the Jesuits spoke the desires of my heart so beautifully.

“Take Lord and receive all my liberty.
All my knowledge my understanding and my entire will.
All that I have and I call my own I give back to you.
Give me only your love and your mercy that is enough for me.”

Freedom is not the result of doing what we want to do, rather freedom comes from doing what is the right thing to do. No jail on earth can rob us from the kind of freedom in Christ St. Ignatius modeled for us to imitate.