His problem was that he had never thought about freedom that way before. He didn’t even realise control would also be seen that way as well.
For someone so bright, articulate and considered it even surprised him. There it was though, the problem was laid bare. What really was freedom? Who really was in control?
In as much as he thought he was proposing something noble and beneficial, it turned out to be a sophisticated illusion. He wasn’t in control and he was not free. In fact what he felt he was in control of, was actually controlling him. The realisation of that was one thing, the ability to do something about it was another thing. That other thing that appeared to completely elude him. He came across various mirages that offered succour and a source of strength, whether with meditation techniques or psychotherapy. These only offered distractions and not solutions.
It was only when he came across a friend, Tim, who he hadn’t seen since the university days that he heard something that changed his life. Tim was a party animal at university and appeared to be burning the candle out at both ends. His friends were amazed that he survived university, let alone left with a decent degree.
Tim looked very different now. He didn’t appear so unruly, and yet there was a look about him that appeared more dynamic than ever before. Tim put it down to a message he had heard and accepted a few years after university. That message was presented as good news of freedom that was not based on self, but trust in one who had paid the price for that freedom. It was freedom from a control mentality that had led to slavery to ‘habits’ that Jon could relate to. It was freedom from the expectation of others. It was freedom from the demands of society. It was freedom from the inner turmoil of setting aspirations and never seeming to meet them.
It was freedom founded in embracing the message of this King and His Kingdom whose rule was radically different to what the world had presented. This was about a right way of living and a grace to live it, a beautiful way of relating and a grace to express it and a true way of fulfilling all there was to life and a grace to demonstrate it.
Tim did not give Jon the impression that all his problems would be over and that he would always be happy. Tim stressed to Jon that to really accept this good news was to turn away from the old to turn towards the new. Tim equally stressed however the amazing grace that was freely given to keep those who trusted in the King in the journey.
Jon didn’t need to hear too much from Tim about it. Jon could see it all over his old friend. He could see the difference and he could see the peace that radiated from this guy even at his most animated. Jon knew that it wasn’t worth just taking Tim’s word for it. Jon would have to find out for himself …
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden