Eric's Sunday Sermon; The Road To Freedom
Sometimes the weather determines how free you are.
Do you live in the domain of freedom?
So much is made of freedom. It just is made out to be so important. It is like a total goal for what amounts to most of the world’s human inhabitants. We even throw our desire of freedom on animals. I don’t just buy it, as though if I don’t I am a bad man. I know a whole lot of happy happy dogs that are not free. My fish would die if I set them free. The dolphins that are in the naval training program go on “maneuvers” and are free to take off but they have never had one leave.
My wife is free to walk out that door and never come back. I suppose my seven year old could, physically at least, leave home for a spell. I am totally free to not believe in God, but I do and I always come back to God. I guess a father/provider is free to leave his children and their mother. Who would argue that we are not free to cuss at every given moment. Free to eat like a glutten and free not to bathe.
And what of the freedom to be an addict of any given thing. Uh Oh! Most sentient beings would recognize that an addict of something is not free. So now we see where the rubber meets the road. As a full grown healthy man with means and opportunity I am free to chase after my desires. Until I am not.
The jailer man can imprison my body but not my mind and not my soul. Likewise the wily preacher man might be able to imprison my soul but not my sinning body. And the teacher man may entrap my mind but not my soul. And most assuredly I advise and do declare that your Delilah can snare your love and body but God still owns your soul.
And so we are most interested in seeing what part of us is already free and what part of us must we free from the imprisonment we impose upon ourselves. For almost without a doubt no other can truly take away our freedom. Loss of freedom, except for that tiny part which is the body, is 99.9% and inside psych job. We are the ones who lock the door and handcuff ourselves to a ball and chain.
Why are “freeDOM” and “kingDOM” so similar? -dom. 1. a suffix forming nouns which refer to domain. And do not leave out “officialdom” and wisdom. None of them are dom or is that dumb?
Is democracy and freedom synonymous?
Happy birthday grandma
On bad days I do not feel free. Yes I feel jailed or trapped. That is me. I sat in a Tijuana jail for two days once. I reference this jailing because I was totally innocent. I had recovered a stolen car. It was all legit and went through the insurance and the California DMV but Tijuana was not up on a system yet. So while a few weeks earlier they got the stolen car info, they had yet to get the recovery info. Mexico operates under a Napoleonic code system – guilty until proven innocent. The jail cell was dirt floor and the concept of “a pot to piss in” really meant something. Rice, beans and tortillas were appreciated and supplied by nuns and not the cops. But you know what? My thoughts and conscience were free. I had hope and trust that I would soon be out, so my body was basically free, just inconvenienced. It is important to delineate between capture and an obstacle. Obstacles actually represent freedom.
But one time I had a job that stunk, no new prospects. A place I lived in alone. Not enough cash to even put on a good drunk. And I was not free. Do not think that my poverty entrapped me, for that would be wrong. My attitude entrapped me. My lack of gratitude was a stronger chain than man could make. My fear to move on, my cowardice in the face of risk and insecurity made me my own worst jailer. Not even a jail but rather a lake of fire where I would rather endure the pain than take one step in order to relieve it. Yes, one of those times in life where I had decided that I was so bad that I was compelled to punish myself.
Trapped with no notion of the possibilities outweighing the impossibilities. Self-pity and reliance on our ego will do that to you. Somehow we become so fancy judgmental that we can even pass judgment on ourselves. Oh the arrogance and the disrespect for God and God’s creations.
Now of course we speak of the darkest hours of our lives so that others can chime in and relate. We do not speak of them to glamourize them or to romanticize them. We share such things to reach out and make those who have once been there go easy on themselves and those who are there dare to have hope and even a roadmap out of our human condemnation of ourselves.
Perfect place to pause and say “I love you, God loves you and you know how to love so you are going to be just fine”.
A funny restriction on freedom
So where does freedom come from for you. If you are thinking about money to do what you want and not being attached to family, I urge you to reconsider. Not so sure that that is freedom. The man lived in a free country and had freedom of speech, but when the time came to speak out about a wrong and save a man’s life he remained silent. Perhaps he was not free to speak at all.
My favorite guy Lincoln said “Obedience of the law is the greatest freedom”. Pretty cool eh? So now we get to the question of whose law? And so we have walked to the really cool point of this sermon. So exciting!
Think of this for a moment if you would. I do not try to always act in accordance with a grand notion of right and wrong. I tried and it was too complicated, like asking “what is justice?” So then I took man’s laws and God’s laws and decided on what law would govern me. Yes indeed God’s law often contradicts man’s law. If that confuses you, step back from statutes and look at survival of the fittest which is man’s law. That contradicts God’s law.
So we set standards. Compassion, others before ourselves, Love our enemies, God with all our heart, turning the cheek 70 or so times, if he take your tunic give him your shirt. These violate man’s laws. And to be sure the violation of man’s laws carries a penalty. And you know what? I have stood convicted of violating man’s law by not caring about winning. The penalty is grave as far as society goes. But I have never ever lost my freedom through conviction of man’s laws. Because they are secondary to love.
I only lose my freedom when I violate my laws which were rightly established by following the ultimate of God’s law. Act in love. If you cannot be a citizen of love, then at least obey the rules of that citizenry if you really want to be free.
Freedom needs a declaration of rights and you must declare that love is right.