Darkness & silence
Peace unwraps its slumbering limbs
No respite for the weary
Wrestle, wrestles, wrestling
And the night
For but a minute
Darkness & silence
A moment’s calm before the storm
Cascading into glimmering hope
She cradles her in
Closer than close
That holds her to her post
“Here in the West, the rapid pace of life often squeezes what is important into the periphery: the urgent displaces the important, the digital displaces the personal, the mass media affect our thinking whether we like it or not, leaving us entertained, titillated, or, ironically, bored…” ~ D.A. Carson
I don’t think it a coincidence that in a world where knowledge is more accessible to us than ever before and entertainment never a lack, we find ourselves still increasingly more dissatisfied with life. While it may seem that we have so much more control of information we need (or sometimes never even knew we wanted), we have become a people confused about who we are- our purpose, our person, our passion. Yes we are frustrated, and yet we remain disturbingly disengaged in its pursuit. We have learnt to be well-seasoned consumers, thoughtlessly giving over the shaping of our values, self-identity and dare I say finances to those who can best appeal to our stimulation-hungry senses. It is almost as if we’re afraid to give ourselves a chance to discover the truth.
Have we exchanged depth for expanse; quality for quantity; truth for information; fulfilment for satisfaction; intimacy for knowledge?
I believe that more than an ‘entertained’ life, we were designed to live a vibrant and fulfilled life. I believe that we were created for a purpose larger than our own self-satisfaction. Most importantly, I believe that in order to discover the truth…we must first allow ourselves the space and the permission to ask questions we may have no answers for, have conversations that go deeper than the trading of information & activities, and ponder the filters through which we formulate our world-views.
That ever elusive chase after freedom starts at a young age: the kid wants to watch something they can’t, the teenager wants a later curfew and no restraints from authority figures, the young adult wants to choose their own path in life with no constraints…it’s that fight for getting rid of those chains that weigh us down- “I’ll do it my way”, “Don’t box me in”, “Don’t tell me what to do”!
def. Freedom |ˈfrēdəm| NOUN: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint
32 years has got me thinking a lot about this thing called freedom. While I agree that freedom requires the necessary ‘casting off’ of certain types of restraints, too often we experience a “freedom” of sorts only to later realise that some of the things we got ourselves into when we were ‘free’ weren’t as freeing as we initially thought. No…freedom cannot just be a life without restraint…something seems to be missing from the equation.
I was always quite baffled at why Jesus said “my yolk is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:30). I had a notion that He came to take away our burdens; he came to free us from the chains…why would He use that analogy to talk to us about the nature of His Kingdom, and His plan for our lives? The idea that being weighed down by something can actually be a GOOD thing feels so paradoxical, and yet is there is truth in there somewhere?
Perhaps true freedom is not just the ‘casting off’ to live a life of reckless abandonment, rather also the bearing of the right kind of weight- a life that is still governed, that still has boundaries but its boundaries protect, cultivates health and produces good.