The irony of freedom behind a fence

Freedom braveheart iroicI love irony and when I found this picture on the net yesterday it really made me smile. The statue of William Wallace with the word ‘FREEDOM’ stands fenced off and trapped and surely this is as ironic as things get? Apparently the statue was not liked by locals and was vandalised which resulted in it being imprisoned protected by the fence.

Braveheart may not have been the most historically accurate film ever made and Mel Gibson’s poor attempt at a Scottish accent in it is embarrassing. Despite these things, many of us find the freedom speech moving

The Scots are lined up ready for battle and are feeling overwhelmed by the size of the English army, but good old Mel William motivates them with the stirring ‘Sons of Scotland’ speech that finishes with these words:

Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… OUR FREEDOM!

You can watch the scene here.

I think that lots of us can be like the statue. We were made and designed to be free but in reality we are trapped. What are some of the things that hold us back?

The obvious one is habits. There are many addictions that involve various drugs or alcohol, but what else can’t we get through the day without? Are we addicted to spending money, to needing to belittle others or to being angry? Are we addicted to Pornography? Are you able to look at people as human beings rather than sexual objects? Are we in control of our lives or are we trapped in addictions, driven to do things even if we don’t want to?

normal amazingAre you trapped by a belief about what is normal? Do you feel that you can’t be yourself because you think you have to conform?

In the Braveheart scene, the soldier talking to Wallace believes it is better to live at all costs. That it’s normal to hide when things get too much or if there is too great a risk. Are we willing to break away from the expectations of others, finding the freedom to be ourselves? Being a Christian isn’t always popular but I want to be free to be honest about my faith. That freedom requires a daily choice and action to make it a reality.

Are you trapped by a lack of self-worth? Are there are so many things you would love to do but you just don’t feel good enough. How can we find confidence to have a go? If we don’t try, we never will succeed and this is the tragic thing about low self-esteem. When we feel hopeless we don’t try and so we don’t achieve which means that we feel like we are no good.

Other people can give us confidence. If you know someone who is struggling, please do encourage them when they do things well no matter how small that thing is. Remember that being specific is much better than speaking generally. Telling someone they tidied up well or the difference it made to you that they helped is much more encouraging than just telling them they are great.

Are you trapped by a limited way of thinking? I hope we can see the possibilities rather than being trapped by what we have always known. I especially hope this can become true for the Church. I read through Marks Gospel last week and I also read some documents produced by a church that shall remain nameless. One talked about following Jesus, about life and miracles and the other talked about organisation, strategies and processes. There is nothing wrong with being organized but that is not at the core of Christianity. My prayer for the Church is that we would realize that we are supposed to be primarily followers of Jesus, not people who run an organization. May we find freedom in allowing Jesus to lead us.

If you feel trapped today, my prayer for you is that you would find freedom. Sometimes freedom is dramatic and quick and sometimes it is slow and painful. May God give us a good perspective on life and may he give us the strength and perseverance that we need to follow him into the freedom that he wants to lead us into.

 

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About honestaboutmyfaith

Hi, my name is Graeme and I’m married to a very patient wife. We have 4 children, 2 rabbits, a terrapin (and not a lot of peace and quiet!). I’m a Baptist Minister who is especially interested in making Church accessible to people who have no church background and also in how we disciple people in order to equip them to live out their faith in the 21st Century. I am also a member of the Eastern Baptist Association's Council with responsibility for Mission Strategy.
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