The Power of Freedom

The Power of Freedom

As a Father of 3, I have seen the true Power of Freedom and the joy it brings to my children’s faces. The Freedoms they received from taking their first steps, saying there first words and/or riding their bikes without the need of training wheels. These freedoms, and many more, they have already experienced in life. But the ultimate freedom that they enjoy is the freedom to choose.

If we stop and think about it for a second each action above came from a choice. The first action of learning how to walk, they chose to overcome the bodily restraints placed on them as an infant. But how did they do that, how did they obtain such freedom to walk? Was freedom just handed to them? Was it just something they automatically had? Obviously not!! From the time they were born their bodies had to start using their muscles and their brains had to start making certain connections and destroying others in order to have the ability to just move, let alone balance or brace themselves. They work day in and day out moving and pleading with their bodies to have the ability to just reach for that toy or go get that other human that’s across the room. The Walking Freedom takes months, maybe even years for some, but it is the ultimate freedom that we all work so hard to obtain as an infant. That Freedom only came from the choice our body made to start moving.

All while we are doing this, we are also trying to communicate what we need/want with this seemingly Alien person standing over me. Why don’t they understand me? Why don’t they listen? O well the only form of communication that seems to get their attention seems to be through screaming, here it goes again. Eventually however they do learn to communicate and eventually learn that those aren’t Alien’s in the room and I can talk to them. They then start to choose that there is a better way to communicate and by making that choice they start down the road to a better form of communication.

Now a few years have gone by and they have started to realize more and more that that’s not an Alien in the room, that’s my friend. They have started trusting you and relying on you for pretty much everything in their lives. You are their world and one day their friend decides to bring home this funky looking contraption and tells them to sit on it. Wait, what?? This thing doesn’t even stay standing when I sit on it. How do they think I’m going to do anything on this thing? You explain to them that it is a bike and show them how to ride it. They once again choose to trust you, but only to the point that your hand must stay firmly planted on the seat the entire time they are riding it and you must never let go. But what, you let go. Why did they let go? I can’t ride this crazy thing by myself and they start to fall, but you catch them. As time goes by they get more and more comfortable on the bike and soon you let go and they are riding all on their own. O the sweet joy on your kids face as they feel like they are flying through the air. They feel on top of the world, like nothing can knock them down. You stand amazed at the simplicity it takes to create such joy and wonder why you don’t take a more simplistic approach when finding your joys.

But is it just the action of riding a bike, or feeling like flying through the air that your child has such joy? I contest that the reason that they are having such joy came from a choice or in this instance multiple choices. The first choice was to trust their friend, their mentor as they have always done. The second choice and most important choice of all, they decided they wanted to be free. They wanted to be able to ride that bike all on their own and they finally realized that they could. At that very moment they felt the pure taste of freedom and the power of being able to accomplish something after working so hard at it for months or in the case of my daughter years.

To me the true Power of Freedom does not come from just doing whatever we want, it comes from fighting for and choosing the things we want to do and accomplish. If you want to be free you must work on overcoming the barriers or obstacles in your path, just as a child does. We also must remember that every Freedom still has its limitations. For example, riding a bike, you must still obey the laws of gravity, physics, and physical limitations. Yet does that mean that they are not truly free? No!! This just means they embraced those barriers and created their own freedom within the boundaries placed around them. One of my favorite quotes, and is my desktop background, comes from Russel M. Nelson who said “Each day is a day of decisions, and our decisions determine our destiny.” Each decision/choice we make every day will determine our choice to be truly free.

So what does the Power of Freedom mean to you and how are you choosing to be free?

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