Foolish Fridays 1

by triunebill

This will be the first post in a series called Foolish Fridays. I’ve read a great book by a Brennan Manning called, “The Importance of Being Foolish. In it Manning offers up a number of reflections seeking to discern how to think like Jesus. I will be traveling down this road with this text as my guide, and see what can be discovered. Hoping you enjoy the journey.

In the introduction, Manning reflects on his time in solitude high in the mountains near the Zaragosa Desert of Spain. He reports, “In many long hours of prayer in the caves, I realized anew that the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ supercedes all else, allowing us to experience a freedom that is not limited by the borders of a world that is itself in chains.”

Maybe for some this is a little crazy – way up in the desert in a cave praying? For some of us Lutherans, this is a little too monkish/Catholic – but maybe there is something to being in a place where the sounds of the ambulances racing down the road to the hospital (about a half mile north of us) are gone and the other distractions, noises?, of the world are stripped away.

I wonder how all that works. Here we are in what some call the greatest successful experiment in freedom. Even for those dealing with some grueling life choices, what to eat, where to sleep, and such things, this place is a place with little restraints. Even for us who claim belief in Christ, what a great deal of freedom. Freedom to worship and believe as I desire, freedom to earn and spend my money as I please, freedom to do pretty much what I desire when I desire it. I know there are some restraints, economic and social, but freedom nevertheless. An old time phrase, but essentially, I am the captain of my own ship. Or am I?

But Manning also raises a great note of caution – my freedom, as I have understood it, is indeed a freedom limited by the “borders of a world that is itself in chains.” In John 8:32-33 we are told, “So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

But what a minute. Aren’t we free now? Aren’t we simply light years removed from the hard times of ancient Israel? Manning seems to be saying there is this great tension when we stop and really reflect on freedom. But aren’t I already free so why do I need this truth? Then again, how free are we? Supposedly numbers 4 and 5 on the 10 most purchased meds in this country are drugs for treating depression. Makes me wonder.

What do you think?

Be blessed and be a blessing.