What Is Free?

leejohndrowteamLast night I had a dream about something that needed to be translated but no one in the place could figure out how to do it. A message was given to us. There was something unusual about it. Yet no one could decode it. (Yes, they even tried a Google translator.) A friend took it to a little child next door. In moments he translated it, decoded it and back came the paper. The main word of difficulty had a box around it. With stars. It was there. “Embrace of that which cost you nothing and move towards that which is designed for you.”[pullquote]“Embrace of that which cost you nothing and move towards that which is designed for you.”[/pullquote]

I woke up thinking how that could be for me. It could be for others as well.

There are many things that “cost nothing” (More on that in a bit.) which are deceptive in their nature. Only salvation is there for you to receive. It is a free gift that cost the Maker, but is given to you.

Lately I have been on a journey of change. Maybe it is the getting ready to turn 60 and thinking about the next 60 years. (I am so looking forward to a family vacation with all my children and their children as well as my annual birthday gathering. Maybe it is no longer a birthday, a birth week or birth month but a birth year.) Perhaps it was being nostalgic about my parents.

But something is in the air. This week I had to stand for my values in a difficult situation.(Thankful for grace.)Deal with a wrongful situation. (More thankful for grace.) And finally face the fact that I am the one who perhaps is being called to change what I see.

[tweetthis]What you are appointed for you are anointed for.[/tweetthis]

In another dream this week, I saw a mine that supplied food. A large hole as the entry. Wow! As I came closer to the opening the smell of tacos overtook me. (For a moment I looked around to determine where I was.) Yet food came out of different styles, tastes and more. As I got closer the smell of tacos was overpowering. Why tacos I woke up thinking. I love tacos, but there was something different here. Even days later I am just starting to research, think on and such. The Lord asked me, “are you having difficulty with this mine?” The answer I wanted to give was “yes” but no was going to sound better. Why was He asking me? And in a flash I saw the manna on the ground of the desert. Never ending. As I prayed I realized this mine was in the most unlikely of places for for food. A desert. The smell was singular never changing but a buffet of food continued to appear. (I can hear my old friend Terry saying, “God never closed the ovens of heaven.”)

Some time ago I began to evaluate all the benefits of God only to realize what I knew.  That they are countless. But as I thought about them I began to see something. God gives them for free to us. He does things we can not do and does them effortlessly. Sometimes I sense we have become hardened to His benefits.

Even as I wrote about the food producing mine, I though about the Hebrew children bemoaning free food. The first dream mentioned, I saw the hand of God bringing us freedom that was free to us. Clearly it had cost Him. Clearly there were those who lost lives for embracing that freedom. It was the second part that messed with me. Move towards that designed for you. I thought God has me, has you on a pathway. A personal journey of you and Him.

Last night a conversation opened up with a friend. We were discussing the changes in an old friend of mine. I said “you can not push people up, pull them away from community without having  them fall down.” What I meant was there are often well meaning people who put people on stage, on pedestals; causing isolation from the community they need and were created for and then as they crash and burn, have it be only then do we recognize what has occurred.

We have become so disposable in our thinking, in our business models, in our “everything for free” thinking that we have lost out on the true value of a person. The ability to be…a person.

Last night as my friend and I talked, it was about business. While I clearly recognize the value of all Jesus has given me, the world has made efforts to corrupt it by what they perceive as free. So many people think that with all this reduction of pricing and such that the world is getting better. (There is more good happening, I just do not think it is this piece for the most part.)I would submit to you that as much as I pursue “heaven on earth” and believe it has the possibility of being world spread, we are missing it when people who do not know Him add their versions. I get that there is a point where things can happen, but I cry over the loss of a “middle” class or people in advancement. Free is a potential culprit. (I probably ought to share more of this in a different piece.)Yesterday I read 97 million people were out of employment in the US. (Is it even possible to embrace “that which you were designed for” in that environment?) As I sat with my friend we talked about a “social experiment” if you will. Part of it had to do with the free model.

I think something has to change.

Earlier this week I met with folks to look at being their “marketing and outreach director”. I realized we were oil and water. I did not get the position. But the idea burned in me.  Change the community. Give to it. Shape it and mold it for His goodness.

This is what I broke out with my friend.

Did you know that the top 10 sites in the US are basically free. Meaning 7 out of the 10 are free sites and the other 3 are effectively free, unless you are the seller. (Though in the words of a friend, “Amazon can sell you a $1 for 80 cents.” Which in part may explain their never making a profit…)Free! Think about that. We can say it is about advertisers and such, but really it is about you and I. The tracking of our behavior. Our lives. By choosing free in this instance there is a cost. Free has a cost. Our privacy, our behavior.

Earlier this week I watched some new technology take place. A shirt that you can wear(Or a watch) that will give your information to an insurance company for a reduced premium. Or the GPS that sends to your auto insurer to track your behavior in return for better rates.

At some point we need to say we are “not going any further” and make some decisions. Free or free? Will we be bound by opting for “free” sign ups and such? Or will we be free by paying for those things and truly being free.

As I wrote this, I know some may not understand or even get it. Perhaps today is for the one or two. What I shared with my friend is a business model, I realized this is uncharted territory. How do you “compete”? I think people are looking for something better. Something more God like. Increasing Christ centered.

How do I end this? I hope I have provoked your thinking. Not just for today, but for going forward. I think I will end where I began. “Embrace of that which cost you nothing and move towards that which is designed for you.”

Written by Lee Johndrow

Lee Johndrow

Lee is on staff as the Prophetic Ministry Leader at the Village Church where he functions as one of the prophetic grace. (You can visit their site at www.villagechurchswanzey.com)

He is the father of five wonderful children. Married for over 22 years to his wife Tina. 7 grandchildren as of September 22, 2014, with another one on the way! Loving life with family, friends, faith, fun and food!

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