experiencing true freedom

"release" by David Hayward @ NakedPastor.com
“release” by David Hayward @ NakedPastor.com

Do you ever experience a thought that comes seemingly out of nowhere that brings you a new perspective for the way you are living your life?

Today, a fresh and good and deep word came to me.

While I write much about the empowerment that comes through giving things up and shifting our focus to do things that many will not argue against as being “good” in nature, there is so much more to this all.  

And I feel the need to begin to convey the stronger and more compelling reason I feel so much freedom and joy in attempting to live in a mindful and small way.

It is Christ.

This morning I sat in the service at our small church and heard words from my father in-law for the first time in a while.

He spoke about how we are all in some sort of bondage and must serve something.  Whether it be God or man or money or powers or a certain list of rules or material possessions or an obsession with a certain lifestyle (good or bad), we all are serving something or someone.

Why are we told in the scriptures to not place idols above our God if humans didn’t have a problem with creating them and allowing them to rule our lives?

And so, I began to think about bondage.

"entangled" by David Hayward @ NakedPastor.com
“entangled” by David Hayward @ NakedPastor.com

Images came to mind of the poorest of the poor, poverty stricken with no way out,

the faces of young girls forced into the sex trade,

and even those who are mastered by their materials and money, who are missing out on so much by chasing after something that in the end will not last or bring about true happiness or joy.

And what about those who feel called to drastically simplify?  To intentionally living more lightly in order to give more generously, to being a good neighbor and living in a way that is attempting to steward the earth and bring about justice to those who live in it?

For idols are not always something corruptive.

Perhaps even at times they are beautiful and good,

but when not in the proper place in our lives they can enslave us just as much, if not more than, that which easily entices and traps us into bondage.

It is written in the gospels that “man cannot serve both God and money”, but what good is it if we throw away all our money and desert our possessions and yet, still do not have the love of Christ in our hearts and lives?

Humanity may receive something positive, no doubt, but we are not experiencing the full measure of freedom and grace in our lives.

Whether it was the pastor’s words this morning, or the fact that I was sitting still without interruption or both, something stirred in my heart.

A short and simple sentence: “be a prophet for me”.

I am not here to simply spread a message of simplicity and how awesome and amazing I think my life is because of it.  I am here in part to show others what freedom is promised by learning to love and live and give and walk like Christ did.

I started writing as a way for me to pursue more deeply this process of change in my life and perhaps, encourage others down a similar path.

"metamorphosis" by David Hayward @ NakedPastor.com
“metamorphosis” by David Hayward @ NakedPastor.com

Today I am reminded of the boldness that is required, which I have been called to, in order to bring about the peace and freedom and transformation I long for in my life and the life of those close to me and across the globe.

I am broken and imperfect and small and lovely and deeply cared for and everyday I am finding myself as part of something bigger and greater than I could imagine.

– b.e.

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