Tuesday, July 26, 2016

This Idiot's Guide to Casting off Burdens

A current toddler library favourite is The Snorgh and the Sailor - all about the joys and discomforts of realising you are living half a life. The Snorgh thinks he's content in a solitary, repetitive existence until a stranger tells him an exciting story. After that, there's no escaping the dissatisfaction.

Is the stranger helping or doing him a disservice?

In Exodus, Moses leads the Israelites out of cruel enslavement in Egypt. Once they get clear of it, they long to have it back. At least in bondage, somebody told them what to do and where to go.

It can be hard to tell which are our crosses and which are our heavy yokes. We are invited to carry the one and cast off the other in our search for truth and freedom. But first we have to decide which is which.

Currently disillusioned with my political party's leader and oft-times hurt by church leaders' love of control and power, here are a few ideas:

Freedom is only found in community
A free community knows equal, multilateral relationships and is not in thrall to an elite or (worse) an individual leader
Freedom is more often found in change than in consolidating the status quo
Freedom avoids celebrity worship

Freedom is comfortable with difficult strangers ......
..... especially those telling unsettling stories.
Freedom has no truck with 'should'.
Freedom will look just as good to one person as it does to the other - there are no a priori winners or losers
Freedom beats safety every time - though usually the latter is blindingly tempting.

Perhaps we can never be 100% sure whether our choices will set us free. When I'm at a total loss to know, I'd like to err on the side of doing what makes me feel most vulnerable.

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