Free Yo’ Miiiiiiiind (in my best En Vogue Voice)

Egypt and Libya are conversation buzz words. Since the citizen uprisings in Egypt began in January, not a day has gone where headlines haven’t  invited us to consider the fight for freedom around the world. At this very moment, there are millions of people across the globe that are vehemently fighting for, barely grasping onto, or hopelessly losing their freedom. By no means do Egypt’s and Libya’s quests mark the start of some new endeavor. The pursuit of freedom is perhaps the most fundamental and timeless desire of humanity. Generations of people and some of history’s most celebrated heroes/martyrs have been defined by the presence or absence of freedom.

With such a large portion of our time and history spent chasing freedom, it begs the question: How do you know when you are actually free?

Is it by your ability to vote? To hold the job of your choice? To live where you would like to live? Access to education? Freedom to worship? Political representation? To share your opinion? To have control over your own body? To earn a living? To build a family? To walk and move? What or who is it  that grants you your agency?

The line between free and restricted is hazy at best.  An investment banker living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan has a far different concept of living out his freedom than a kindergartner living in public housing in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Is that same investment banker who sits chained to his desk 14 hours a day more free than a farmer in Honduras who lives off the land and spends his time with his family? And doesn’t that same kindergartner in New Orleans have a different concept of freedom than an kid orphaned by AIDS in the Congo? And that same Congolese orphan has a different concept of freedom than a man sitting on death row even still.

Perhaps true freedom is not an objective standard of living but rather a state of mind,  granted to you by your own perspective.  It is a liberty given to you by your own  thinking that allows you to live a life not through its limits but through a commitment to discovering its limitlessness.

Are you truly free? How do you know?  Does your life reflect your freedom or does it reflect a perception of  restrictions? Are you free in your thinking? Are you free from fear? In what areas of your life are you not free?  How are you enslaved by your own thinking?

And if you are free, what are you doing with your freedom?

I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!- The Message II Cor. 6:12

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