Chains of Freedom

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.

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