You Are Free… You Are!
Today is a day that we, as a nation, celebrate our independence. We struggle to express the deep gratitude we hold for those who fought for our freedom as a country or for those who escaped the bondage and oppression of another country to bring our families here to the land of the free. I have always enjoyed the 4th of July as a great holiday, but it can be more than a holiday. Let’s make Independence Day a day of gratitude as well as reflection.
As grateful as we are, I can’t help but wonder how many of us are really living in freedom. As for me, I deeply long to be free. I have tasted true freedom a time or two in my life, but somehow I continually construct and reconstruct the walls of my own bondage.
Call it status quo or habit… Call it peer pressure or call it a trend… I’m talking about our tendency to not be who we truly want to be… to not live how we truly want to live. I see it in myself most clearly, but I see it also in my family and the people around me. We are free in so many ways, yet we live like captives afraid of the consequences we might face outside of the walls we create for ourselves.
Like convicts we find ourselves fearful of life outside the walls. Occasionally we taste the air of freedom outside our fabricated walls, but we quickly return to the comfort and familiarity of our captivity. Our wrists feel naked without the chains we use to confine ourselves, our bodies exposed without concrete walls and steel bars surrounding them.
You are free… you are! But are you truly living in freedom? Are you who you want to be? Are you living the vision you have for you and your family? Can you even still see it, or has it faded enough that you know think this is what you wanted?
What is it that causes us, as free people, to construct our own captivity? The answer depends, I suppose, on what you believe about the opposition, but whether there is an opposer so cunning he has tricked us into constructing our own prisons or it’s just some kind of natural human tendency, our walls are made of the same material… FEAR.
It is nothing more than fear that keeps us from breathing deep the cool fresh air of the freedom we’ve been given. It is fear and nothing else that, over time, convinces us to settle for a dull and colorless vision for our lives. It is fear that causes us to get comfortable with our shackles and learn to settle for captivity.
So… what are you afraid of? What is it that you use to build your own prison?
Whatever it is, let today be your Independence Day! Identify that which holds you captive and plan your escape. When the fireworks go off tonight, wherever you are, celebrate and drink deep the freedom that is yours.
You are free… You Are!