Here goes on a new blog series that will probably last for July. Maybe a little into August. We will see. I am not convinced that any of our rantings and ravings are necessary. I am almost certain very few of them are even worth reading. Maybe it’s more therapeutic for me.
Regardless, what better day than July 4th to kick off a “ranting and raving” blog series, since today we celebrate the day when those early American ranters and ravers penned us into existence as a country. And why?
For freedom – to do whatever we want, right? I don’t think so.
Freedom is rooted in intention, not impulsion.
Whether you believe the teachings of Jesus or not, it doesn’t take much intelligence to observe the eventual demise left behind by selfish ambition. Thus, to act day after day only on selfish impulse, excusing self-absorption with the claim of personal freedom, eating and drinking and being merry no matter the effects, never-minding the lives of others, is not worth it. I say it’s “not worth it,” because we claim personal freedom as a matter of worth, at least to self, but it is not worth it either to self or to this beautiful, ugly, majestic, chaotic sea of humanity.
To live as though freedom ensures my opportunity to act on impulsion is to live a life without any worth bigger than myself. And it is certainly not freedom when my impulsive living in turn enslaves others, whether figuratively or literally.
No. Freedom is not rooted in impulsion. Rather, it is rooted in intention.
Here’s the rub. Some do not believe God made them. But that percentage of humanity is actually smaller than the attention they receive might allow us to believe. So, let’s go with that presupposition together.
GOD MADE US.
Therefore, wouldn’t it make sense that the maker of us all would know best how we live? Would know our optimum function? Would understand our worth and when our lives are lived full of worth?
If so, then doesn’t it makes sense that we would be truly free when we were unencumbered to live fully as God intended us to live?
Thus, the real meaning of Jesus’ words in John 8 come alive:
36 “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. [John 8:36, NASB]
We are free indeed when we live in the way of the One who made us and stand together in the grace of the One who saved us from ourselves. We find freedom when we listen to and love and thus obey that very One from Whom we wandered trying to live fully free lives based on personal impulsion only to find ourselves enslaved to our own impulsiveness and the evil (unintended) activity that followed.
Maybe that’s what drove those early Americans – not a motivation to do whatever they wanted to do but rather to be all that they were intended to be.
I don’t know. I was not there in those riveting conversations around that signing table that established what many still believe to be the best country in which to live in all the earth.
Regardless of your opinion of America, may you at least ask the One who made you what His intentions for you were, respond accordingly to His reply, and then live forgiven and grateful and free in His ways.
HAPPY 4th of July!!! Grateful for a free country and a freedom-giving Maker.
For what it’s worth, here’s are the lyrics to a great song about freedom by Josh Garrels. I would suggest that he is challenging us here to actually resist the temptation to live as though personally a king, doing whatever we want, and rather live recognizing Who is King, and find freedom in the love and overcoming. Enjoy…
I was born into a system constructed for failure
It’s a sinking ship manned by drunken sailors
An escape artist behind the bars of a jailor
An asthmatic attack when we forgot the inhaler
If the shoe doesn’t fit what good is a tailor
In the midst of a crisis please cancel the gala
Without a symphony there’s no need for a prelude
To foreshadow what’s to come.
See the secret committees, commence with their meetings
To make red tape in response to simple questions
Questions threaten the perception of the beneficial systems
A pyramid scheme with its cogs and its pistons
Mechanization of men, making more and more
Live in a miserable exhistance
How can so few, claim so many victims
And this begs the question
My rest is a weapon against the oppression
Of mans obsession to control things
Look at the long line of make believe kings
The lord of the flies wants you to kiss his ring
Follow new rules with invisible strings
And become a puppet in the diabolical scheme
How do good men become part of the regime
They don’t believe in resistance.
Hold fast like an anchor in the storm
We will not be moved
Lesson number one, overcome
Every fear of regret and confusion
It’s all illusion, delusion
Sent to disconnect the holy fusion
Of spirit and the flesh
Every mortal breath, is meant to bring forth fire
But only when the fear of death, gets consumed
On the funeral pier
So let the flames rise higher
Let every man be considered a liar
If he doubts the goodness and faithfulness of God
Itching ears will compulsively nod in approval
When unbelief is taught in all our temples and schools
But God can restrain the madness of a fool
He can bring His truth through the mouth of a mule
You can move an mountain without any tools
It just takes the faith of a little seed
to make a way through what might seem to be
And the ability will match the occasion
The outcome will defy explanation
The liberation will not be televised
When it arrives like lightning in the skies
Hold fast like an anchor in the storm
For your love, we will rise and overcome
Through the fire
Hold fast my people and sing
Through peace and through suffering
All for the joy that it brings, to be free
It’s gonna cost us everything
To follow one Lord and King
True love endure everything
To be free
Hold fast, like an anchor in the storm
We will not be moved