I Long to Be Free
I long to be free…
To have the sun on my face and the wind in my hair.
When I was young, I had a beautiful appaloosa horse named Danny. He was a massive, powerful steed covered in spots. Actually, Danny was not my horse. But his owner, a family friend, allowed me to ride him all summer. He started the summer fat and sassy, but by the end he was a lean, mean beast of a horse machine.
I spent the entire summer running wild on that horse.
I’d get up early, throw a blue bareback pad on my big spotted friend and just go… I did not have a plan. I did not pack a lunch or even bring water.
My friend had a horse too. Together we meandered and raced our way through fields and forests. We swam in the creeks, jumped logs, snuck into the rodeo grounds to race around barrels and pretended to be rodeo queens. My only rule was to be home by sundown.
Those were happy, carefree times.
Today I don’t feel nearly as carefree. I feel the weight of responsibility and commitments. I’m burdened by my constantly buzzing phone and to-do lists. My relationships are way more complicated, and I’m not free to daydream or swim in creeks these days. I’m way too responsible… and too insecure… to have that kind of freedom.
I’m too busy trying to do more and be more…
But I long to live freely.
This idea of living freely inspired the Joy of It Radio Team to launch a summer radio conversation we’re calling The Freedom Series. In the movie Braveheart, Mel Gibson shouted this battle cry: “They may take our lives but they’ll never take our FREEDOM!!!”
With the same passion, but in a kinder and gentler way, we have similar battle cry.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1)
The Joy of It team has a dreamy list of what it would look like to live in FREEDOM. Free from the idea of perfection and free from our past hurts. Free from comparison, bitterness, jealousy insecurity, rejection, shame, and guilt. And, can you just imagine? Free of fear.
What would it look like to live freely?
Occasionally, when I was feeling brave, I would take a break from riding Danny and ride his mom – a black mare named Blacky. She was nearly impossible to catch. It was difficult to put a bridle on her. And, I could barely get a bareback pad on her… let alone a saddle!
But riding her was alluring, nerve wracking and exciting all at the same time. Blacky was incredibly wild and fast!! From the moment I jumped on her back I could feel her energy. She chomped at the bit, chattered her feet and fought to run free.
Now, my girlfriend and I were tiny little things at 13-ish. Once, when riding double, Blacky powered the reins out of my hands and I lost all control of her. She bucked and kicked…trying to remove us from her back.
My friend flew to the ground, but I was able to hold on. Blacky did everything she could to dislodge me, scraping against trees and fence posts. She longed to be free of my weight on her back. She longed to run wild and free…and I held on for dear life as she did just that. All the way back to the barn.
There’s a lesson there for us…
Living in freedom means getting rid of all the things that hinder and distract. The things that slow us down. Freedom comes when we run to Jesus.
Blacky did everything in her power to live free of bridles, saddles, bareback pads and especially 13-year-old girls. She valued her freedom to run free and she fought passionately for that freedom. And I think we need to fight for our freedom too.
I think we allow culture to bridle our passions and corral the stirrings God places in our hearts. We become saddled with things God never intended for us to carry.
The apostle Paul shouts out another battle cry. He says,
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us…” (Hebrews 12:1)
This fires me up! There is a race marked out for me. I am made to run it!
I have this one life to live. God’s plan is for me to live freely and run this race with passion. Free from my own insecurity and fears. Free from doubts and the weight of the opinions and criticisms of others. This is the freedom I find when I run to Jesus.
We live under such a heavy burn to be perfect, put together, sweet, thoughtful, strong, successful and self-sufficient…all the stinking time. For the record, these are impossible expectations others place on us and we place on ourselves.
So let’s throw off all the unnecessary junk we’re packing around and start living more freely! It’s going to be a process. But giddy up, let’s go!
Join us for a wild ride as we continue the FREEDOM conversation each week on Joy of It Radio. We are going to meander through God’s Word and practically discuss how to live in FREEDOM!
QUESTION: What would it look like for you to live more freely??? Thanks for sharing…
Join me, Laurie and Julie Thursday afternoons at 2:30pm on 93.9 KPDQ and Sunday mornings at 11:30am on True Talk 800. Each week we explore God’s Word and discuss practical ways we can live for the joy of it in our homes, relationships and community.