"Do not exchange one bondage for another and mistake it for freedom." That was a phrase that rang through my head at the end of my hour-long walk home from school today.
I like walking, especially when the sun is shining, the breeze gently blowing across my path, and I know there is an ice cold Diet Dr. Pepper waiting for me in the refrigerator when I get home. But mostly I like to walk because it is when I dialogue with God. I start things off with a question or comment, and away we go...we discuss issues, we argue about why things are not as they should be, or rather, not as I want them to be, I ask a lot of questions and wonder about a lot of situations, and sometimes I just listen. Often I talk out loud. I have even been known to weep, wail, and groan on occasion when words just did not seem adequate. So today I was asking why something I did that seemed like a good idea at the time with the most noble motivation, turned into an unhealthy obsession. And this phrase came into my mind, "Do not exchange one bondage for another and mistake it for freedom." Now somebody famous probably said that somewhere, sometime, so I am sorry if I am not giving anyone credit here, but all I know is that it applied to me.
There are a few things that are very precious to me, and clutching onto them tightly seems so much more secure than letting them go free; being surrounded by a small, familiar, predictable environment seems so much safer than the wide open field of boundless liberty; trying to manage (control) my circumstances seems like a wise move in order to ensure my well-being and ultimate happiness. Wrong! My most valuable treasures can in fact become idols blocking and distorting my view of truth and limiting my experience of the white-hot holy, jealous presence of God. What am I so afraid of that I will clutch onto anything BUT God? Or perhaps I will convince myself that I am clinging to God AND the precious, so that makes it okay. I have had to unclench my hands of some big things. Painful. All the more so because I saw how much I had relied on them to sustain me. There is only one source of life - Jesus said "I am the Life." Oh God, don't let me settle for any shiny substitutes.
I am glad I did not ask for a quick ride home after class, but instead, chose to take the long way home, for today I came an hour closer to freedom.