Are the Best Things in Life Free?

What do you love that is actually free?

“The best things in life are free.”  This is one of those phrases that parents say to their kids to teach them to value the little things in life or to teach them to be grateful.  Even as adults, we pass this phrase around as if it explains our gratitude for the small things that come our way.

Especially in this holiday season, you’ll probably hear someone say this phrase in reference to spending less on gifts, or in reference to doing volunteer work.

Love.  Memories.  A child’s smile.  Getting a good grade on an exam. Friendship.  A great marriage.  Making it through the first year of a business start-up and living to tell about it!

While each of these may fall into the “best things in life are free” category, I beg to differ with whether or not they are actually free.

I can speak from experience that having a great marriage definitely does not come freely.  It takes commitment, forgiveness, communication and a whole lot of hard work.  Getting a good grade is not a free gift – ask my college daughter going through her first finals week.   Finding the love of your life is a costly proposition for some.  Patience, heartbreak, relational skills, and prayer…

The truth is, anything that is worth something, costs something.

The cost may be intangible, but costly nonetheless.

Dedication. Commitment.  Sacrifice.  Money.  Time.  Tears.  Prayers.  Hope.

Often times the things that don’t have a high monetary value actually require the most work.

When do we value things that truly are free?  Whatever we come by easily or cheaply, we will also value little.  A dandelion inherently has little value compared to a rose because they are so easy to come by.

This holiday season, stop to let the enormity of the “free” things that come your way sink in.  Some cost you a lot financially, and others are precious gifts given to you after years of hard, committed work, after dedication to an ideal or dream, or after years of tending to seeds.  So take a moment to feel, deeply breathe in and wonder at the blessings that you have.

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