Wednesday, March 14, 2007


The Spirit of Slavery

Paul describes himself as a "slave to Christ." This is upsetting to me. Why would I want to be a slave, to anyone? Besides which, Jesus says "If I make a man free, he will be free indeed." So, what is it? Slave, or free?

As with most things involving God this concept has gotten buried in all kinds of fluff and scree, falling from the great edifices people build around simple ideas. God said to me last night, when I was thinking about this, "How can you be a slave when you've never been free?"

Good question. What is freedom? Certainly not the hell I've lived in squashing myself to fit my own expectations of the world. My intent is to stay the hell out of sight, but that's like a tree living under a sidewalk. Neither of them comes out of the experience very well. Bent tree, busted concrete. Yet it looks normal to me. Normal, familiar, comfortable, no challenge. When one is running close to the limit, challenges are the last thing desired. The next one might be the straw that breaks everything.

God is still himself. He remains constant, unchanging in his care. It's interesting. With that kind of constant regard, the Lord of the Universe smiling on my shaking shoulders, I begin to become something like confident.

Hope is a real tease. I've had hope before and it just precedes a longer fall. Up and down, growing and then dropping rocks. Turns out that I'm the main dropper of rocks, being well trained by this world in what's expected of a normal stable individual. Certainly talking personally with God isn't in the script. Still, silent or no, He is always there.

This in itself is kind of alarming. Am I too dependent upon God? What would happen to me if He were to withdraw his presence from my life, as I've heard has happened to others? That scares me. God says that's not my story, as Aslan constantly reminded the children in Narnia. Live my own story. This is what I've been given.

Names and stories. People are quite willing to impose their own stories and names on us, which is what I've been trying to avoid all my life. Live my own story, find my own name... but doing that while trying to look as if I fit the names given me is a tough practice. God calls me to my own name. He has no interest in forcing an ill-fitting name, nor the wrong story, on me. I'm a slave to death-dealing practices right now and God is working to free me from that. The new story is a challenge, and we already know how much I like those.

He still calls. Patient. Radical. Implacable. "Be prepared for the truth."

Larry -

I saw your comment on "The Prodigal Son" site. Very encouraging. Looking at your recent post, I can tell you are a thoughtful seeker of God. I hope we'll have the chance to journey together in faith. Your post reminded me of a devotion I did on my church site ( called "When God Steps Away". Check it out.
Larry -

If you have trouble accessing my personal blog, it is

Peace, TR
Good question. What is freedom?

I think it's kind of scary you know...??

It was interesting that you mentioned "hope" when talking about freedom. Can't we as humans endure almost any physical or mental bondage as long as there is hope? No matter how bad life gets, we have hope. Even the title of this blog is evidence of a final attempt at hope. Freedom comes from knowing the Truth.
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