Freedom is tightly woven into the American culture. It is embedded in our hearts, a defining part of who we are as individuals. So integral that you do not think about it being there, anymore than you think about breathing. It just is.
When I was younger I thought freedom was being able to do whatever I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. It was breaking free from the restrictive rules that were around me.
One November day I found myself walking to the bus stop in Monterrey, Mexico when a car passed me playing dance music. Instantly my mind went racing, thinking of what I would be doing if I was back home. I would be out with my friends, dancing my heart off. Boys would ask me to dance. I would be drinking something stronger than a soda. I would be free!
And then in flash, the lie was exposed.
These “friends” would talk about me behind my back. My whole self-esteem was centered on how many guys asked me to dance. I would be out of control of my own actions. And I would hurt my God.
And it literally was as if scales fell out of my eyes and I could see for the first time.
This was not freedom. It was bondage.
So many people in our culture are trapped into a false sense of freedom, that rather than giving them the freedom they so desperately desire, it instead captures their hearts, and holds them in such great bondage that the bondage itself seems normal.
Over the years I have come to realize that true freedom is NOT being able to do whatever you want whenever you want. In actuality true freedom is:
Being who you were created to be.
I become that when I choose to be joyful even when others let me down. When I choose to be content when things don’t turn out how I imagined. When I remain in peace, even when I don’t get my way.
When you are free on the inside, it no longer matters what happens in the world around you. And that inner freedom is something worth chasing. It’s what I want more than anything else.
To be as I was created to be.
I was made in His image. My heart longs to worship Him day and night without ceasing. My very soul longs to behold my God face-to-face. To be made whole. To be free.
“Seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:14b)