Chafing under the stifling rule of despotism, my life as a teenager underwent a stunning change in ways I had not expected; more sudden than a car wreck I arrived at University. What I had yearned for since my first sentient thoughts was freedom; expecting to receive it in gradual degrees much like a draftee moving up through the ranks to four star general. What transpired instead was a handshake, hug, and admonition to “make the most of this chance” – off into the waning afternoon sun went my last moorings of childhood, and I was free.
Expectations of liberty are far different than the reality of it; the nascent thoughts of, “I can do whatever I want”, soon give way to the sudden blanket of solitude. Never hearing the maxim “with freedom comes great responsibility”, the veil of yonder gives way, and I realize now that I very well could have uttered such a phrase if I had the erudition; I certainly had the emotion for it. Forty years of reflection gives way to certain conclusions that have matured over the decades like slowly curing Roman concrete; wrestling with life much like Israel and the mysterious Angel, I have as a certainty come through the contest with a permanent hitch in my get-a-long, but without the victorious memories of pinning my opponent to the ground.
We all are under the illusion of bondage to higher things. Circumstances, be they economic, social, or political, have a habit of binding us with their chains; but these chains are not made of iron, but of brittle clay. There is no power over us in this life: indeed in many ways there is no power over us at all, for we have been given the most precious gift of all from He Who Is,; the power to choose our own fate. There is a wonderful line from the movie Kingdom of Heaven, “Jesus says, CHOOSE.” Through the mystery of fathomless Love comes the gift of absolute power- the power we all have to decide our destiny. There is no greater power than this; no other particle, or combination thereof within the bounds of Heaven and Earth, nor amongst the starry realms of the cosmos can claim this power but man. He who has unleashed this power within us now waits to see what we shall do. We stand as Adam and Eve did- much like I did once, at the edge of the future, endowed with liberty but restrained by the endless venues of choice that radiate from our present. If we fixate upon the past, we lose who we are in who we were; if we covet the future, we lose our sure harbor of security. Only in the present are we assured of making right choices; properly exercising the essence of being the sons of the Most High.
Each day this absolute power is with us, needing to be wielded in our constant skirmish against those who care not. The dark spaces of this world wish among other things, to fool us into the shadows of futility. Each day we must act, for their is no eternal security or damnation within the bounds of time and space. Vigilance is essential: and with vigilance comes the need to move, and movement is the exercise of decision. I know not choice others may take, but for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord