Wednesday, November 29, 2006

fear and slavery

as soon as I awakened to the depth of my need, the sorrow of my horrible flesh and pride, before I could even know this very sin, You at that moment took it from me.

Fear seems to wrap itself around our feeble minds, talking of how things might be if we stretch too far, look too deep, believe too much. It is as if the truth of how life might be if we lived in His arms was too great a purpose for our mere minds to bear, so we run from it to the sancticy of our homes and comfort. Life has always been about fear, as pride, as if the possibility that what we think we know might be wrong, that someone might be holding back from us something, as if we might get burned one more time and we do not know if He can salve the wounds. It is not truth we seek when we turn to fear, it is not the light, it is not joy – rather it is the selfish center of ourselves and what we think is real and right.

I am never sure why I fear, it is not as if He has ever left me wanting. Maybe whining, but never really wanting. He has never let me down, never turned away, always cared and loved this lost man like I never left Him in this walk, as if I never turned my eyes from His back. This world and its carnival rides, they have never believed in me, never truly cared or loved me – nothing has been given outside Him that is of any eternal value. And myself, we do not even need to go into that. Mere human weakness and frailty leads to plenty of thoughts and memories. Why not trust Him? Fear. I am never sure why, but I know that this fear rakes us up and down through the mire of this life will continue.

I think it is because I don't understand the freedom in which I live. I have replaced the freedom I think I know with one that is but a mere shadow. In a book I'm reading, the author refers to it as a result of discipline. For example, someone who practices a guitar gives up something - his freedom in a sense, for another thing. This freedom to play music with a guitar is only gained through the loss of the other. We who are not able to play the guitar are not really free to fully experience playing it, and doing that well. That loss is often spurred on by the wrong orientation of my days, and more oft in just being lazy.

Someone says this much better than I - and though he is writing in regard to slavery and the struggle within that cause in the 1800's, I think Paul would approve of the language, as he reflected the same throughout the letters in the NT.

"Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims, have been born of earnest struggle. The conflict has been exciting, agitating, all-absorbing, and for the time being, putting all other tumults to silence. It must do this or it does nothing. If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightening. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters."

"This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. In the light of these ideas, Negroes will be hunted at the North, and held and flogged at the South so long as they submit to those devilish outrages, and make no resistance, either moral or physical. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must certainly pay for all they get. If we ever get free from the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labor, by suffering, by sacrifice, and if needs be, by our lives and the lives of others."

Frederick Douglass, 1818-1895


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