Born Free. Live Free. Be Free.
In my morning face time with my God I am sometimes asked to reflect on prisoners of war. To pray for their loss of freedom and to appreciate my own freedom. I think that is a most beneficial reflection. For it seems it me that we imprison ourselves with such ease. We prefer to be bound than unbound.
As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea – for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him. Matthew 4:18-22
How often have I read these verses and added my own “but … ” ?
But that’s not how it is today. Back then they had Jesus with them. Jesus was new and exciting. He was fresh and energising. It was easy for them. But for me … ?
I couldn’t do that. I have responsibilities. I have family. I have a job. I have bills. I have friends. I can’t just drop everything and “Follow Me” (to wherever He decides we should go).
And the more I reflect – the more I think this:
I am bound and imprisoned by what I see and think and have. I am bound and imprisoned by my life and all that is in it. And I prefer that imprisonment to the freedom of walking as a Follower. And it always amazes me to learn that Simon Peter was married. Had a home. Had a job. Had a lot of what I have today. It amazes me when I think that I have even more than Simon Peter at that point in his life. Because I am indwelt by my God. Every cell of my body. Every thought. Every whisper and doubt, every call and certainty. I have that. Simon Peter didn’t. Not then.
Born Free. Live Free. Be Free.
In this world but not of it. Really? A disciple and a follower. Really? Walking with the voice of God in my ears all the time. Really? Can I walk on water? Yes you can – just hop out of the boat and mosey on over here. Really?
The more I reflect on God stuff, the more I see my state of mind as my personal prison. I will not give up my “state of mind”. I am the rich man, I am the passer-by on the other side, I am the one Jesus looks at with sadness as I walk my own path. Thinking that being a follower includes following my “state of mind” … following my “faith” – that is “faith” so long as I can see the outcome I desire … tithing of wealth but NOT my wealth of time., wealth of self-determination, wealth of being the me I have worked so hard to be, the me I will not give up.
But mostly I think this …
My moment of “coming to the Lord” was not love at first sight. It came after years of dating and flirting and “seeing other people”. It came after years of living a life that made perfect sense. I came to the Lord not out of bondage – I came to the Lord in freedom. Willingly. Gratefully. Lovingly. Rationally. I came to the Lord seeking something better, brighter, more energising, more than I had and wanted. I came to the Lord to be with the Lords always. Just like Simon Peter.
I left my state of mind behind and followed my Lord.
And just like Simon Peter I still cut off the occasional ear (some may say “a lot”) and get told not to. Just like Simon Peter I say “I don’t know you” just a lot more than he did. Just like Simon Peter I have a home and a wife and a family. Just like Simon Peter my moment of coming to the Lord was instant. And, unlike Simon Peter, I have not moved an inch from the things of my life. But …
I have just given my Lord my state of mind.
And I wonder why I don’t care much about the historical-factual-accuracy of the bible any more. I wonder how that sits with others who follow. I wonder why my own moment was so similar to this moment in these verses. For that is my truth as well. I wonder why my own walk has as many ups and downs. I wonder why following includes not moving at all. I wonder why I can be even more “me” than I was before – and yet be the me my Lord loves even more. And I wonder why I was told that long list of “things” I had to do and be – to believe and behave – all the “religion stuff” things. And mostly I wonder why being a Christian in the eyes of others was so much more important than knowing my God intimately.
And I wonder if I will ever stop wondering. I suspect not.
It’s too much fun!
What about you?