Sunday, May 26, 2013

Freedom From Everybody, and From My Own Self

Tree, in Bangkok
I love this quote from Frank Laubach:

"I am trying to be utterly free from everybody,
free from my own self,
but completely enslaved to the will of God
every moment of this day."
(In Greg Boyd, Present Perfect, 43)

To be utterly free from everybody. Increasingly, I find myself not wanting to be like anyone I know or have known. I want to be like Christ. This growing desire allows me to be free of other people - what they think of me, whether or not they agree with me, and so on.

With this kind of freedom I will be unattached to what other people want me to be. I am the clay, but other people are not my potter. And, I am not my own potter. I am not to be a self-made vessel.

Such utter freedom will  allow me to better love other people, because my love for them will not be a function of any attachment to them. Enslaved only to the will of God, I am set free to love others without manipulating them to love me in return.

Attached only to God, I am unattached to the opinions of others and unattached to my own self.

Thomas Merton once prayed, "Lord, save me from myself." (Brian Welch of Korn echoed this prayer here.) This means being free from death-producing, spirit-quenching aspects of my self. To be free of the "false self."

Enslavement to the will of God means: attunement to the heart of God, the desires of God. To have a heart that beats with the heart of God and marches to his drum.