Free from "this"; free to "this" - Part 3
I could probably write a lot more about this, but at some point I need to wrap it up. In the first part of this I thought about the fact that "freedom" and "connection" is my lot as a human. I cannot be free without being connected to something. In the second part I thought that there were degrees of freedom and that a freedom connected to God and my neighbor is the greater freedom. The lesser freedom is when I am connected to the world system (that is opposed to things of God), the flesh (which is the part of myself that pulls me from him), and the devil (who is the real, personal being who is the author of lies and energizes the world system and my flesh). As I thought about this connected freedom I could not help but draw parallels to the only being in the cosmos that is ultimately connected and ultimately free, namely, God himself. His connected freedom among the members of his divine being, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, form a union of eternal, unbroken relationship. And there it is! Freedom is centered in relationship.
Now again, this does not make much sense in my natural mind. The vision of freedom in my head is one of a person who, perhaps, lives in a cabin or a monastery somewhere isolated and unencumbered by the trappings of this world. They pray however they want, they go where they please, they don't care what others think of them. But they are in service to someone or something. Never are they free in the ultimate sense no matter what it looks like from the outside. Perhaps they serve themselves, or perhaps they serve God better than I do. I can't make a theological statement about them based on my limited understanding of their day to day activities; where and how they live.
What I can say is that, for me, my freedom rests in the pursuit of the relationships where God has placed me. As I serve him, my family, my church, my friends, my neighborhood, I bring them closer to God (I hope). Much like the dancer I invite them and assist them to fully live the life that they have been given and offer them a glimpse of the Divine as I imitate God. The true freedom that Christ has given me through the forgiveness of my sins is found, in large measure, in the submission of my life to him. He is to be both lord (leader) and savior (forgiver).
In his great love he has shown me that placing others above myself moves me to taste his own submission to the Father. Son of Man that he is, and loved to be, is the son of a man that I am. The flesh the he wore reminds me of my position as a son of the earth. As a son of God, man, and the earth I must submit to his call to serve all three. When I choose to lead rather than serve I choose the lesser freedom. When I choose to partake of Gods incommunicable attributes (sovereignty in particular) I energize my flesh, the world, and bow to the devil himself. My kingship is a terrible one. My connected freedom to those lords is a hellish display. My rejection of others and God is bitter, rancid, maggot-filled, and vile.
The sweet, connected freedom he desires for me frees me from the chains I so dutifully wear far too often and clothes me in a participation in the divine nature. It fills my lungs with power to fill my neighbors' with love. It is a foretaste of heaven and the honey of his presence. Free me, Dad. The world wastes away apart from you. It wretches and heaves from the poison it drinks. Only you can quell its devouring of itself. Only you can bring it the peace it needs. Please, more freedom. Please, more connection to you and them.