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Let Freedom Ring

July 4, 2017

Elephant EarsOn this day, July 4th, as we celebrate our independence, I’m giving consideration to the significance and complexity of freedom. What does it mean to be free? And, what are we to do with our freedom?

Freedom is a funny thing. Too much of it, or not enough, can create chaos and/or discord.

I recently installed an Outlook plug-in that required me to close Outlook (restriction!). Throughout the installation, I had to confirm several times that I did, indeed, want to continue with the installation (intentional!).

I feel that way about life sometimes. Sure, I have freedom, but there are restrictions and requirements. Freedom requires balance. Freedom requires intent.

I am in the process of changing habits, in order to find necessary balance. I’ve given up a great deal of independence, in accepting God’s mission for us, in raising three grandchildren. Now, I find it’s necessary vital to be intentional, to be determined and to recognize and honor the need for some “me” time. Sometimes that means dropping balls, and sometimes that means picking up balls…the balls that I choose.

The first Biblical reference to freedom was the blessing of Adam in the Garden of Eden, as God commanded him, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Genesis 2:16b-17). However, Adam and Eve soon succumbed to temptation, eating the forbidden fruit, and ultimately losing their freedom, thereby cursing all generations. 

Fortunately, mankind is blessed with a new freedom, offered to all believers. Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31b-32)

But, freedom requires commitment and discipline, in the study and application of God’s truth, under the control of righteousness. (Psalm 119:45, Romans 6:18-20)

Outside of our sunroom, Elephant Ears have taken over the flower bed, choking out delightful Jasmine and  Moon Flowers, preventing their growth and blossoms. It will take effort and determination to dig up the bulbs and roots, to thin the crowd, to allow for diversity and balance. I love the Elephant Ears, but they’ve become too much of a good thing.

In order to write these words, I had to persist, overcoming repeated interruptions. Finding time to read devotionals, meditate (new discipline), study and consider life applications is a challenge, but I’m convinced it’s what I need to do, in order to be free (balanced). Sharing my thoughts here is my response to God’s call. It might seem small, but the effort is huge. I cling faithfully to my belief that if it’s God’s will, and I allow Him to work through me, then it will happen.

Boom! Done.

Happy Independence Day!

LORD, thank you for your faithfulness, and the blessing of your mercy and grace. May these words and meditation be pleasing to you. Amen. 

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