We are bound

I’ve been waiting for the energy to put this into words for awhile. I don’t think I can do it satisfactorily, but here goes:

In our limitless selfishness, we have tried to define “freedom,” for example, as an escape from all restraint. But, as my friend Bert Hornback has explained in his book The Wisdom in Words, “free” is etymologically related to “friend.” These words come from the same Indo-European root, which carries the sense of “dear” or “beloved.” We set our friends free by our love for them, with the implied restraints of faithfulness or loyalty. And this suggest that our “identity” is located not in the impulse of selfhood but in deliberately maintained connections.
– From the essay Faustian Economics, Wendell Berry

And the more I considered Christianity, the more I found that while it had established a rule and order, the chief aim of that order was to give room for good things to run wild.
– From Orthodoxy, GK Chesterton

Lately I’ve been coming to terms with the idea that I am, and always will be, a slave. I will either place myself under that great and merciful authority of the King, or I will be “free” to bend to every societal and cultural wind that blows. I will be a servant of the Body, or a servant of my body. In a sense, the reluctance to commit, is the decision to place yourself under the power of sheer potential. The possibilities are literally endless. But I forget that potential unrealized, is nothing.

A Home. The concept of home is so powerful. Can any of us imagine The Odyssey without Ithaca? Odysseus is the only one who makes it home, and we care not about the others. The scar from the boar, his bed made from a tree. A past, a home, roots. These lend the story power and drama. The hobbits are the true heroes of The Lord of the Rings, why? Why was their sacrifice the greatest? Because their home was the most dear. An adventurer who leaves because he is restless and discontent is interesting, but the reluctant hero who goes to war and leaves a Home… this stirs the soul.

Our “deliberately maintained connections” not only define us, they liberate us. Psychology will tell you the far reaching effects of parents’ long forgotten neglect on the grown man. Contrary to modern thought, we cannot believe in ourselves any more than we can pull ourselves up by our own boot straps, or lift the chair on which we sit. We cannot love if we don’t know love. Only the man who has friends can be a friend. Only a man who feels no need of love can really, truly love another. The First Cause was the cause of Love. We love because he loved first.

This is fundamental. Because of Grace we need not fear, and in the place where our fear once dwelt, grows boldness. It takes courage to love others. When we realized we were not self reliant, we became reliable. When we realized we were weak, we became pillars of unimaginable strength in this world of storms. When we were boundless we hugged the very earth, afraid to stand for fear of being swept away. But now that we are grafted, bound, we roam freely. I want to be bound to Jesus because he frees me from myself. I want to be bound to Him because then, where he goes, I go.

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~ by justinhong on March 10, 2011.

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