Freedom Craze

This is just a gorgeous morning, and the sun shines brightly making the complete world appear beautifully golden. A gentle breeze offers a freshness which nothing else can give. A morning such as this causes one to become very awakened and inspired. No matter where one would take a stop to rest today his eyes would be easily drawn to the fascinating, amusing, interesting, and the new in life standing ready to be learned.

Taking just a glance at the people around and about me I see clearly and sense strongly how important it is to them to enjoy their freedom and how they are seeking desperately for originality. Noting this just passively draws me to concentrate on this subject in bewilderment. Today, these two ideas of freedom and originality are keenly driven into the minds of the American people. Those who turn on the radio hear advertisements on the air encour­aging them to go places that should not be missed. There are things to see that you will not forget, things you can do to get yourself out of the same old nit. Those who watch the T.V. set are shown how to be different from the crowd and what to use or get in order to accomplish that idea. Those driving the highways read signs on both the right and left informing them how to enjoy themselves and how to have a good time. Everywhere, the media encourage society to get out and away and have some fun.

This tremendous emphasis on individual freedom, and being your true self, whichever way that happens to be, has just massacred the mind of the younger gen­eration today. How? Stop and take a look around. What do you see? A large and growing group of young people who do not know where they are going or who they are supposed to be. They are people who have no idea whom to believe, but are busy searching deeply trying to figure out what life is supposed to be used for! It is true, there are some young people who are trying to pass by all this complicated confusion and there are some who are really searching, trying to find, and to see. But it is sadly apparent that many of both these two groups of people have joined our cities’ one million runaways. They are out to join a search for themselves and a place where they can either find or plant imagin­ary peace. The rising number alone of those young people who are hitch-hiking and roaming aimlessly in this country from early dawn into the late night is incredible! Miles of unhappiness are forcing curious young people to search for some freedom which can be packed in a sleeping bag, swung over a shoulder, to be used as they wish. Flinging open the door of their homes, they leave, feeling convinced they do not need the security of family or friend. Success is a word they do not un­derstand and so they go out to try to learn it on their own and test themselves to it in life. Yet, many are mistaken and fail to realize that they are only trading in any happiness and contentment for deeper frustration and confusion.

So as time passes so also does it teach. They can all run far and fast, but when they are tired and come to the end of their run they turn around, raise their faces into the sunlight, let the gentle wind blow their hair and begin a long trip back. Reaching out, they clung desperately to some dream but found it only vain. Those who want out, those who leave and drop out of society learn that reality clutches their hands, and wherever they may run it will run with them; wherever they may hide, reality will find the secret hiding place. No, there is no answer in the peace sign, in dropping out, in drinking, in drugs, or in love-ins — no answer in selfishness. Trying to live in full freedom only causes confusion to grow and sin to increase.

As I stand here and let the wind dry my sad eyes after seeing this pathetic sight, my mind turns to the church of believers. I almost want to sigh in relief and whisper peacefully how happy we must or should be. Yet, looking again I almost want to shout out how much we must learn . . . not tomorrow, not next week, or whenever we are finally ready settle down, but right now. More today than before and more tomorrow than ever the world has more to throw at our feet to cause us to trip, stumble, and fall. We cannot spend our life and time, which is given to us, in any way that we wish. In fact we must be extremely conscience of what we do. We are not here as a free people or a people of any kind, but as dedicated people, dedicated people who live for the service of God. Oh, not only on Sunday or when we feel more like living a true Christian life, but this is our whole life! Man was not created to live for himself and to see what he can give to himself. And it does seem time for every individual to try to conceive of that meaning … to give more of himself and take just a little bit less. If we could try a little harder to feel that self should not always be our first thought. We must venture out a bit and teach ourselves to be persons enough to see the sin in breaking down others whom we either know or do not know for the sake of being able to build ourselves a little higher. Looking outside and seeing what lies out there show clearly we may not strive to be a free people and that life is not ours. We are different (aren’t you?) and therefore not only asked, but required to live differently. Yes, perhaps now life may seem to move swiftly by, but when life is no more and we must give account for each thought and deed ever done, it may well seem to be a thousand and one years.

Well, the green leaves on the tree still move gracefully, and I am going to leave now and take a walk with the beautiful fresh wind. Taking one last glance I notice the long shadows of early morn have shrunk, and again I realize how quickly time has passed along.