WHEN I was a young buck, I decided if there was a rule, I was going to break it. There have been many distinct times in my life when I have felt suffocated by others’ control, expectations, or rules. Unfortunately, my feisty nature would have me push away those limits every chance I got. If you listen closely, you can hear the sighs of my poor parents.
What about you? Have you ever found yourself frantic, craving and grasping for independence or freedom? Ripping out of the driveway only to look up and find yourself running on empty at dangerously high speeds along the highway to hell. Looking out the window to the right, is a road sign. It dashes by. It looked like it said, “Last exit before toll.” …If this sounds all too familiar, hang on. Ride shotgun with me for a few minutes.
As more fine lines have settled on my face, I’ve come to realize that freedom doesn’t necessarily mean pushing the pedal to the floorboard. Going way too fast with little regard is not the equivalent of “living your best life.” In my personal experience, living like that has equated more realistically to living a fast life.
The Oxford Languages dictionary defines freedom as, “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” Notice, that freedom is not defined as simply acting without restraint. Rather freedom is defined as the power to choose, act, think, speak, etc.
Unfortunately, I am much more of a “live and learn” type of person, although I am working on learning and then living. Over the years, I have had my fair share of spinning out of control. Trainwreck or car wreck, whichever you want to call it– I have been in the ditch, on the side of the road, wrecked, feeling utterly hopeless. I have felt stuck in a cycle of making wrong turns over and over again as if my power steering went out. Fortunately, each time my wrong turn caused my world to catch on fire, I learned to do things differently. Or at the very least, I learned that I had the powerful freedom to do things differently.
Galatians 5:13 reads, “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.
Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.”
After many years of my freedom on fire, I discovered that most limitations were not put in place to keep me from fun, enjoyment, and living life to the fullest. Instead, I realized that laws, rules, and commands were put in place to protect me and keep me from harm. But more importantly, how to love better. In many ways, I found that scripture is a road map to truly living life to the fullest and not a long list of do’s and don’ts. GN