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ball and chain

I was on facebook the other night and saw this status from a beautiful, young friend of mine: “Sick of being single”.   I wittingly replied, “You mean you don’t like being ‘free’?   Her response really got me thinking.  She said, “No, I’m tired of it”.


Hmmm…. tired of being free to do whatever you want?  Tired of not having to ask anyone permission to do things?  Tired of having to think of others before decisions are made?  Tired of having the world at your fingertips?  Tired of being…. free??


Funny that we spend all our young adult life looking for that special someone to be with for the rest of our lives, then after we find them, we spend the rest of our life wishing they’d go away.  I’m joking of course, but if you’re married, you’ve had moments….. (you know I love you, Reub)


We really don’t like freedom.   We say we do, but we don’t.

  • All through our childhood, we want to be out of school, but after awhile in the work place, school seems like a party.
  • as a child, we say we want to run away from home, but after we get half way down the block and realize we ain’t got no food, we go running home.
  • We can’t wait to get out of university so we can prove to the proff he was totally off-base about life, only to realize that crazy guy was right…..
  • We want a holiday from our kids, but after one night away we can’t wait to pick up the phone to hear their voice.  (ok, make it 2 nights…)
  • We want to break away from having to answer to an employer so we start our own business.  After a year or two of no profit, “employee” sounds like a great word.
  • We break it off with a wonderful partner to find someone who will make us feel special and make us happy all the time….. years later, we’re still looking….

…… We want to experience life away from God and live life on our terms, only to realize that there is no life without Him.


You don’t have to admit it, but, we like the ball and chain.  There’s security in it.   Just look at any child.  They need structure and guidelines.   They thrive with it and lose control without it.


Freedom is just too….. free.  We don’t know what to do with it.  We become these wild animals who lose sight of all things important.  We become things we would have never wanted to become.


Yet, here we are, fighting for our independence all the time.  Wanting to “get away” from it all.  Then, after we’ve run as far away as possible, till all we have left is a glimmer of the chain left in view, we find ourselves running chaotically back to it!


What’s the deal??!


The ironic thing is that God has set it up so that we thrive under His authority.  Ooooo, who just shuttered at that word, “authority”?  Sounds constricting doesn’t it?  Limited, narrow, compressed, strangled, inhibited….. Oh I know.  I’ve run my fair-share away from that word….. and thus from safety as well.


But God isn’t the “ol’ mean one” we may think…..  Check out what He has to say:

“I’m no longer calling you ‘servants’ because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning.  No, I’ve named you ‘friends’ because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father”  (John 15:15)

Interesting….   Jesus is saying to us that He doesn’t call us His “servants”.  Many of us run from His “authority” thinking if we get under His authority, He will RULE over us with the rod of “no-more-fun-ever”.  Doesn’t sound like that here, does it?  In fact, He goes further to say He calls us “friends”.  Why?  Because He WANTS us to know what God is up to!   He wants us in on the family secrets.   He wants no one to be left “outside” His circle.  Doesn’t sound like mean, nasty dictator to me.


Those who chose to embrace this “ball and chain” so to speak, experience friendship with God.  They get to KNOW Him.


How do we know if we get to be called “friends of God?”

You are my friends when you do the things I command you – John 15:14

What about those who still choose to run away from it?   Their feet will grow tired of running one day.  And their search for life outside of God will end in utter disappointment…..   In the end, they will have claimed the “servant” status after all – the very thing they fought against.


A “servant” sees a ball and chain

A “friend” sees a partnership


So what of you?  Will it be servant?……  or friend?

Categories: a new spirituality
  1. February 15, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Amen! Excellent — keep going — you may be writing a book to help others — love mom n dad

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