Recently, a friend referred me to this post by Liz Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, and I have been pondering it since.
Along for the ride are words like this:
If the son has set you free, then you are free indeed.
Now the Lord is Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.
I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
I could go on and on listing passages of scripture that discuss what some call a “divine heart transplant” that God tells us has been provided.
And yet I could also go on and on about teachings that try to come up with rules, lists, formulas, and things to do. Our role. Our responsibility. Our tasks and mission.
When I read the Gilbert article, I had a visceral reaction. I felt a lump in my throat and a big area of emotion just below my throat — close to my heart. I’m not much of a cryer, but my body wanted to cry at the thought of freedom — real freedom — and the lack of a societal need to be good.
Just . . . free.
Who would I be? What would I do? And why do I not trust myself to be and do those things when the creator of the universe has told me repeatedly that I have a new heart and new mind and that the desires of my heart were given to me by him (or her, but in truth something so much more than either).
What does freedom feel like? How does my body respond to the concept of freedom? For me, my face is uplifted, I stand strong, and my hands are lifted high. It’s the opposite of the shoulder-heavy tension that is all too often my experience.
So why don’t we live from freedom? What is it about human nature that leads us toward lists and rules and cans and cannots? It’s easy to say that we don’t trust ourselves, but isn’t the root of this a lack of trust in God? For now, when I feel that achy shoulder heaviness of burdens, I will choose to move my body into a posture of freedom. I will choose to trust my Creator and not my abilities.