“May we think of freedom, not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” Peter Marshall
I gave both of my children a frame with this saying, “Freedom equals responsibility.” I needed it as much as they did. Freedom eluded me until I took responsibility for it by writing down a plan and working it, following through with boundaries, and doing more than talking.
Playing with my grandchildren rekindled something inside of me that I didn’t know was there. Something I desperately needed, but discounted for a decade. I was a serious kid and an even more serious grownup. However, when I played again, I remembered what was missing.
It reminded me of what my supervisor told me during my internship at The Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. She said, “When you ask an addict what they do for fun, they won’t be able to tell you. The only thing they do for fun is drink, and they have to work hard to support their habit.”
Even though I was on the other side of the desk and asking questions, I ended up frustrated with fun just like the addict. I worked hard at it in the wrong way.
Freedom isn’t free. Neither is fun.
At first glance, that seemed unfair. Next to freedom, fun sounded like the freest thing imaginable. Just go and have it – no cares, no restrictions, no responsibility. I heard lots of people say, “Just go and have fun.”
If you want a boat, just buy it. If you want one more dessert or two more drinks, just eat and drink and be merry. If someone’s spouse looks more fun than yours, just have an affair.
See how that kind of fun doesn’t work?
The reality is, responsibility precedes fun. “Just have fun” ends in frustration. I’ve tried “just go and have fun.” I’ve watched friends try it. I’ve even watched my grandchildren try it. They end up frustrated and fighting.
All this talk about responsibility almost takes all the fun out of having fun. I’m sure God designed it just that way, just for us.
Irresponsible people want just fun without weighing consequences for others.
Responsible-for-others people won’t stop for fun no matter the consequences to themselves.
The solution is the same as in my recent blog post “Fix You, Fix the World.” I wrote there, “We get better when we self govern.” We also have more fun when we self govern. In fact, all of life is better when we take responsibility for ourselves, for our lives, and do what God calls us to do. Believe it or not, His plan factors in a lot of fun.
We can replace “fun” for the word “freedom” in the quotes at the beginning and end up having the time of our lives. Wanna have some fun?
In This Together,