Freedom to Do or Not to Do

Freedom has a whole new meaning this year.

For years, freedom meant the ability to say what you want, worship how you want and choose those you wanted to govern you. Those freedoms are still in place – at least we HOPE they are!

But with the pandemic and all the changes it brought, our freedom has been altered somewhat. For a while, we weren’t free to go to the grocery store. And, once we were allowed back in, our choices weren’t quite as free as before, especially for certain paper products.

Even now, our choices are limited due to issues with trucking. At my last grocery run, my potato choices were limited to red potatoes, fingerling potatoes, and higher-priced, individually-wrapped russet baking potatoes. Not a lot of choices, but I still have the freedom to choose.

Then, when vaccines were created to combat the disease, we were free to get the vaccine or not. And once a certain percentage of folks were vaccinated, we were again free to gather.

During the holidays, we were free to entertain up to 8 people without problems. Don’t know about you, but I don’t have eight friends without problems! . . . But I digress.

Today, we can appreciate our freedom more than before the pandemic hit. In some countries during the pandemic, the government bowed to public demand to ease restrictions early, and now they’re dealing with increased COVID cases and deaths.

I know some who are vocal about anyone who disagrees with their opinion on the pandemic and vaccines. But we need to remember the words of Paul from Romans 14:

Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

No one has had the exact training, experiences, and emotions that we have had. So, we can’t expect them to react the same way we would. That’s why children need to learn how to react to situations. They face something new all the time and need to learn the correct responses.

We teach others, especially young ones and those who look up to us, how to talk and behave by the way we talk and behave. Just because we’re free to do about anything, we need to look around us to see whom we may be influencing or affecting.

If you believe the vaccine is safe and you’ve gotten your shots, good for you. If not, I applaud the freedom that allows you to do that. However, as I am old and have breathing issues, it would be better if you didn’t visit me. That’s how your choice can negatively affect me or someone else.

Let’s thank God for the freedoms we have, but not insist that everyone agree with our opinions on everything. Freedom isn’t free, but it’s so much better than the alternative.