A few weeks ago, a little girl caught my eye as she pushed herself up between two front car seats and kicked her legs freely below her. It reminded me of climbing the narrow hallway walls, barefoot, at my cousin Jeffrey’s house. We called him Frey-Frey for “short” (pronounced Free Free). How fitting, I think he may have been one of the freest people I have known. I always had a little bit of fear inhibiting me. That was not how Jeffrey was.
We would hang out with our hands and feet pressed against the opposing walls as close as possible to the hallway ceiling. Without breathing we’d wait for someone to walk below us, imagining we were ninjas. My aunt Patty, his mom, made us re-paint the walls because our grimy feet were making marks. We would draw maps of his house. In our minds the floor became lava, there were hidden secrets in every room, and our little cousin Anna needed to be rescued.
Oh to be a child again, to escape the layers of adulthood which load on work and responsibility—to do something meaningless for fun—to do something without knowing why except, “I want to!” That’s how we should live with God, liberated, uninhibited, and imaginative. Not heavy laden, sorrowful, tired, or distracted with works. I want to live like a child—the King’s child—utterly free, and about His work.
“… where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
– 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIV)
Pictures of Wind, A Wagon, & Choice
To express this freedom, I wrote something in a different style the other day. It fits with this message so I’ll share it below.
Carry me with You into destiny. Like You direct the boundless wind with its unknown start and finish. The breeze is felt in the moment with You. Can I be like the gale who’s passion is not inhibited and can not be diluted? The great northern only strengthens with resistance. The tornado’s anger is short lived. The air playfully turns. A tune rides on breath and echos in the chamber. On an oppressive muggy afternoon, in a northern suburb of Houston Texas, the wind ushers relief. I want to be like that.
But it’s Tuesday at 3:28, before the sun has painted the clouds, and I feel more like a wagon than the wind. Like ribs expanded by a breath never exhaled, my petrified planks bow out from an unreleased burden. I can’t recall why I’m carrying it or what it’s for. My restless, brittle axles creak as I am pulled over chalky rocks. When was the last I saw another on this road? In front and behind, the barren pecan trees envelope my winding path. The endless obsidian above derides miniscule me, unlit by a single star. I dreadfully obsess over the past and the future, and am not present.
But sometimes I’m the wind with You.
I imagine the choice resting on a plush pillow in my mind. It’s velvet seat is centered atop a marble pedestal and a spotlight shines from above. Despite its obvious presence I act as though it isn’t there. Someone sold me a lie that perspective happens to me and I’m without control. Often I go about my day ignoring that I have a decision to make. But now I’ll walk over to it cautiously. I’ll try and pick it up. Despite its solidity, it feels ethereal and evasive. Still, I know, I can choose to be the wind, instead of the wagon.
What trappings keep you from being free?
To be present with God on this Earth is to have freedom, recognizing that there is nothing that can imprison you. Not really. Because no walls can keep you from Him. And communion with Him is literally of utmost importance. So the trials and cares that tend to steal our attention away from Him are not as binding as we think in the moment.
The only threat to your relationship with Him is yourself. In those haunting moments, when you keep yourself from Him. You find you’ve given yourself away, and deep down you are filled with a sour regret. This isn’t due to condemnation, but love, and the stomach turning result of letting down your lover. You would never set out to hurt Him, but somehow you’ve let yourself go to another, and it’s gut wrenching.
Thankfully, God’s mercy and compassion are new every morning. He waits for us and runs to meet us upon our return. Our love, devotion, and need for Him will not let us go too far. We’ll always know He is the only one worth pursuing. He is the only one who accepts us wholly, unconditionally, and generously. He calls out, “All who are thirsty, come and drink. Come to me and I’ll give you water that will saturate your whole being. If you were to taste my living water, you would never thirst again.”
That is our God. He is the all consuming fire, you would gladly be consumed in. He is the unending fountain of life, you could dive into and never reach the bottom. This is your inheritance, son and daughter of God: to be free indeed with the Spirit of the Lord. Take it now—in this moment—and don’t let go.
Don’t hold on to what He hasn’t given you.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:28-30
The world and the enemy would lure you away into another binding trap. They would entice you to pack on some more weight, chastising you for not carrying enough. But He beckons you to let it go. He removes your burdens and asks you to take on His yoke. His work is easy, His burden is light. Get in the yoke with Him where He carries the weight and is pulling the cart. He invites you to be like a child going to work with your Daddy.
His burden is freeing.
I remember sitting on the floor of my daddy’s office. There were toys sprawled out. My dad in business-casual wear sat in a leather office chair in front of a computer. On the screen were lines that led to a place of imagination. I didn’t know the details of his drafting work, but I knew the wonder when he showed me a drawing. My daddy made that. I wasn’t concerned with how it was done or if I could help. No, I was content and in awe, being with him.
I had a dream a few years ago where my dad asked me if I was going to go with him into work. I’m convinced he represented my heavenly Father. Would I go with Him into work? He had called me to preach. Would I go with Him, or would I go my own way? Would I sit playing on the floor content with my Father making it happen, or would I set out on my own course?
Go to work with your Daddy, God. He invites you into work with Him because you’re His child. You may not feel so necessary. You may be a bit of a burden more than a help. But He’s big enough to have you with Him and still get the job done. Besides, kids never think about that stuff, neither should we. Be free, content, and in awe as you go with Him and change the world.