Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Runaway Slave

Slavery brings up horrifying images of a dark and painful past. It grips at the heart and makes one wonder, how could this horrible trade have been a part of our American history? The murky shadows of hatred and the uneasy subject matter cannot veil the reality of this terrible page in history. Some might even agree, that, slavery’s legacy of prejudice and greed continues to influence the current culture. It is not something you go into the world everyday thinking about, at least I don’t. But I thought of it over the weekend and it seemed a witty comparison to my current state of mind. As I sat at home, Saturday after a morning of prayer, humming a melody from my new anthem, “Break Every Chain” by Jesus Culture, I thought of my enslavement. Not currently, physically bound to a brutal master who demanded me work in da fil pickin duh cutton. But, the enslavement of the mind, that traps one to a situation, a relationship, or a job that demands you to work for nothing and repays with abuse. I thought of the culture and how many of us are slaves to what the culture deems as important and necessary. The artificial way that we communicate with one other and the haphazard way we live. Are we all unappreciative, miserable little wretches desperately trying to make are unstable selves secure with faulty brand names and self gratifying philosophies? Surely not. I know some people that are legit. Ride or die. Down for whatever. But they come few and far between. So, I asked myself, are you a slave or a runaway slave? Am I bound to a situation, afraid to runaway or am I free? Am I chain breaker? To compliment the fact that yes, I am an African American who came to these blessed lands by means of slavery, yet having a lineage of men and women who broke through the chains of their oppression. Not by means of physical power or executive power; but by way of their spiritual power. These people, however, socially, economically destitute believed that they “was kind, smart and important.” (Adapted from The Help, novel) I was also reminded, in this rehearsing of history, of this faithful scripture in 2 Corinthians “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (Chapter 4: 17-18 NIV) Something on the inside of them caused them to see beyond the present condition. It was this foresight and belief that obliterated their temporary state and catapulted them to a state of being that was not limited to time and space. Likewise, you and I have the same opportunity; and whatever our past enslavement or less than stellar areas of our lives are, we don’t have to be chained to it anymore. Christ has become the chain breaker. He has broken the chains of your past and set you free. Galatians 5:1 exhorts us in this way, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” How meaningful is that to you? Freedom. God spoke to me, and he said, “I want you to be free and I want you to be fearless. I want you to know that I love you and that I am with you. It doesn’t matter what is going on, if you have me you have everything.” I read a cool pin-up on Pinterest over the weekend, and it simply said “If you woke up today, with everything that you thanked God for yesterday would you be happy?” I am not willing to give up the eternal things of God for the temporal things of this life. And that to me is freedom. I am a runaway slave. I am free. My freedom came at a cost. Jesus paid it on the cross. No matter the tragedy. I count it all joy. Every loss has become a gain. The victory has been won. Peace He gives And does not take it away I am happy because I am free. Sing with me. Run with me. I am free.

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