the price of liberty

You will know it if you ever have to pay it.

Everything is run by the numbers today so we are stuck in a system where we gain from participation in the system for instance:  good wage, performance bonuses, favorable stock numbers, good investments, and fortunate trades; but to do all that with success you have to live it, breath it, never let it go, every day, all day, until the cows come home. That kind of devotion to money makes you sorrowful because it is never enough to please you – that is the good news. King Solomon’s wisdom tells us that too.

Knowledge is another part of life we bank on – we love to find out wonderful facts about history, science, geography, sports trivia, and even the astronomical configurations standing well above us in the sky.

Well knowledge is just knowledge, science is just science – these banks of knowledge and wonders of science are not gods to be worshipped but that seems to be trend today;  wisdom is not present in most knowledge-based cirriculums in grade school or college. So again the Bible says that he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

The people of academia and all kinds of scholastic achievements and papers are some of the most sorrowful and/or depressed people you will ever find; their bank of knowledge runs low eventually like all of our accounts in this world do, and they are bummed about that as they age, especially those who may have chosen the path of agnostic or atheistic bends in their approach to the divine and then engage young people into that train of thought. Dangerous to the soul, wouldn’t you agree?

We live in a country that has the high acclaim of the most liberty and freedoms in the world according to many testimonies, but the struggle every man has is in his soul, which has nothing to do with the numbers in the stock exchange or a great salary.

The man I think of when I contemplate the kind of pseudo-successful person which fits the profile I described above is a former atheist professor named Howard Storm. This man while still in his 30s, was a high-minded tenured art professor at a Kentucky university and was there working at the university for about 10 years when he and his wife decided to make an art trip to France. Great! Let’s go. I deeply appreciate art myself and even visited Detroit Institute of Arts (finally) in 2015, great art museum.

Professor Storm suffered from a sudden and devastating illness which triggered bleeding in his duodenum part of his intestinal tract and basically ‘died’ on a gurney in a Paris hospital. By his own admission, he said later after he had miraculously survived by means of dramatic prayer on his part while experiencing a spiritual encounter that no one in his position would ever forget, he was a ‘double atheist’ up until that point, a know-it-all professor, and he said also that universities are some of the most close-minded places on earth.

The professor was saved with not only reversal of his grave illness and not because of great medical care, but also he was saved because when ‘they’ came to get him, that is the people he thought were his friends while he was viewing his own limp body on gurney, he realized these ‘people’ were meanly escorting him to a place of not only dark abode but extreme torture. Professor Storm harkened back to his early days of training in church where he learned hymns and was taught the Word of God, and he began praying in earnest to be released from these minions who were leading him to hell.

Before he was ‘set free’ though from these minions, they attempted to convince him that it would be worse for him in hell if he kept praying to God, and they shouted obscenely at him. This kind of hate he apparently never experienced before, but his determination and faith rose enough for him to break out in song, songs like ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ and ‘God Bless America’ and he recited the Lord’s prayer too.

Professor Storm’s near death experience eventually turned into a life-saving and soul-preserving experience as he experienced divine intervention as he persisted in praise and prayer to God.

The price of liberty for Professor Storm was a return to what he always knew was true deep in his heart and when confronted with the direct and very real threat of imminent death, his soul not being saved at that point, he found that within him was the treasury of God’s word, more valuable that all the great art on exhibit at Louvre or anywhere in France or the world for that matter.

The price of liberty was for Professor Storm the willingness to not give up or give in to the powers of darkness. Professor Storm found in Jesus a friend that never left him nor forsook him even after years of sin and unbelief.