The sound of fireworks started early this morning.  The store was full of people stocking up on BBQ foods, and ice. (You always have to have plenty of ice.)  Driving down the street almost every yard has a flag in it.  It’s July 4th, people!!  Yay freedom!! 

Shooting off fireworks, having BBQs, exploding with your patriotic ideals.  As if America wasn’t enough of the loud 2nd cousin, we have to yell from rooftops of the world to make sure everyone knows that we have our independence. 

In the midst of the revelry, this day also is a reminder about the other kind of freedom.

As I sit here in an air conditioned restaurant, as a single woman, alone, eating a delicious fresh meal and drinking soda.  I have a lot of freedoms that many all over the world do not.  I own my own car.  I have a job, and my own bank account.  I go about my days as I please.  

Sure there are days, when I long for my life to look different, you know, with a husband and kids. However, there are days, when I can spend my time in coffeeshops and restaurants, and not have a care in the world.  When now one is looking for me, when I don’t have to report to anyone, that I feel free, untethered.  I enjoy that feeling.

However, I think about often, as I am physically free, my soul was once a slave.  I once was entrapped by sin and caged.  Because of the cross, I am really free. I am no longer a slave. I am free, even more so, I belong to the Lord.

“So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Gal 4:7

This is often forgotten in the midst of my busy life.  I bustle around filling my time, thinking that the busier the holier, I am.  Suddenly, after saying yes to everything, I find myself enslaved to my schedule, to various commitments that I don’t actually want to have anything to do with.  

Then I find myself enslaved to technology, because I use it at various moments to escape, avoid the busyness.  I even can be enslaved by that untetheredness.  I am enslaved to that freedom ideal that our society preaches.  

I even find myself enslaved by my idol of approval, by my desire to not cause waves, fear that I have somehow messed up my life. 

We enslave ourselves without even realizing it. 

If we aren’t careful, we will find ourselves enslaved just as easily to the things that were once part of our freedom.  The only way we can be completely free is in the one you invented who gave up his own freedom from our sake.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. -Gal 5:1

How I long to experience the true freedom in Christ on a daily basis, not ever falling back into the entrappings of the world. I long for the kind of faith that makes those cages resistible. Even more so, I want to be the kind of woman that knows what freedom in the Lord tastes like, so I don’t run back to the cages of sin.  

Sure, we can go on and on about the freedoms we have in this country and goodness knows that we are so blessed to have the freedoms that we do, but in that freedom we believe the lie that our American freedoms will be enough.  Those freedoms will never satisfy that spot in our soul that longs for eternal freedom, eternal life with the one died to make us free. 

What do you find yourself enslaved to and how does that prevent you from experiencing freedom in the Lord?

photo credit: sylwester 22 via photopin (license)

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