Saturday, September 26, 2015

Live Free or Die

"It was for freedom that Christ has set us free..." (Eph 5:1)

Following tourists on the road is something that is not unknown where I live. Tourism is big business, especially in the summer, but now all year round, we get visitors from all over Canada and the United States. One thing that we do to pass the time is try to guess where the tourists are from by the colour and pattern on their license plates, before we are close enough to read the location  - and once we get closer, we read the motto under the location name.  One of my favourite license plates is from Vermont, USA. Its motto is "LIVE FREE OR DIE"... a reference to the Revolutionary War and the Declaration of Independence.  

I've been thinking a fair bit about that motto. I guess that all my life, I've been heading toward that kind of desperation -- that I would rather die than not live free (in other words, death before bondage). Mind you, it takes one whole whack of bondage to get that fed up with it that you'd rather die than live in it.  But it does happen.  It does.  

And you know, that might seem like a really awful place to be, but it is absolutely necessary to get past all the mindless platitudes and living in shame and constant fear of messing up - and get to the threshold of a love-based relationship with Someone who is totally and completely ga-ga about you. 

Photo "Happy Jumping Child"
courtesy of chrisroll at
In unconditional love, there is unbelievable freedom.  There is no freedom in conditional love, only lots of fear that the love will be removed and the lover must be appeased.  Really.  I'm not sure about you, but doesn't that sound like what most people experience when someone starts talking to them about the Christian life?  Oh no, they don't tell that to the unbeliever - they save it for after you're in the door, to keep you scared enough so that you don't step out of line and go for a big juicy sin steak and fries on the side.  (Huh??)  

These folks are really comfortable talking about right and wrong: who's right and who's wrong, what behavior is and is not allowed, how hard and long you have to pray to get answers to prayer and the reasons God won't say yes (mostly to do with blaming the victim) ... and they get really worked up about it! 

But start talking about the unconditional love of God, and people either get wistful ... or they get scared - scared that you're advocating a lifestyle of license. (Yeah, right, Someone loves me to pieces, so much that He gave everything up for me in order for me to have everything He does, so yeah, the first thing I'm going to do is something that will hurt Him.)  Wow.  Just ... wow.  How warped is that kind of thinking? Better yet, how warped is the kind of thinking that would think you'd even go there? 

Now that I think about it, maybe the saying, "Live free or die" could be a statement of fact in addition to being a clarion call to liberty at all costs.  Think about it.  Unconditional love is already yours.  Whether you accept it or not is your choice.  You either accept it and live in freedom ... or you die.

I want to live.

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