"Nothing in life is free," my mother once told me. To a 7-year-old boy, this didn't make much sense. After all, I had plenty of things that I'd never paid for. Surely there had to be something in life that was totally without cost. So I wracked my brain to come up with it.
I told her that our house was free, but she informed me that she and my father paid a mortgage each month. I told her that the yard was free, but she countered that like the house, the land was a part of the mortgage payment.
I told her that the cars she and my father drove were free, but she told me that like the house and the yard, they'd had to pay for them. I mentioned television shows, but she said we had to buy the TV so we could watch them.
For the next several days, I'd try to think of anything that might be free. I'd mention something to my mother, but she'd always have an explanation as to how there was payment needed for it. It got to become something of a game between us.
Then one day I was out playing in the backyard when I noticed something moving in the grass at my feet. It was small. It was green. It was hopping along, oblivious to the little boy standing above him (or her). I quickly thought it through and saw no way that my mother could deny my reasoning.
Scooping it up, I ran inside. Holding it out for her to see I triumphantly exclaimed, "Grasshoppers are free!" At long last, she had no counterargument. Of course, that may have been because the grasshopper scared her and she ran screaming from the room. But I'd like to think it was because of my superior debating skills.
As an adult, I now realize just how true the words my mother spoke are. Very little in life is, in fact, free. There is a price attached to nearly everything.
Now some might argue that salvation is not free because it cost Jesus his life. That is true. Jesus paid the price for our salvation. But he paid the price so that we would not have to. Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (emphasis mine).
The salvation God offers us through Jesus Christ is free, indeed. And that's worth more than all the grasshoppers in the world.
Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears every other week in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com.