Thursday, October 22, 2009

Freedom vs. An Unburdened Life

I recently read an article in Time magazine relating the leadership example of Moses on American leaders from George Washington to Barak Obama. The author, Bruce Feiler, made a statement that has stuck with me over the past few weeks. He refers to the burning bush experience as Moses' first leadership test: "will he cling to his unburdened life or attempt to free a people enslaved for centuries?"

Moses had potential as a child, rescued into the Pharoah's family, perhaps a true "Prince of Egypt." His murder of an Egyptian forman brought this to an end, but he'd found a simple and peaceful life in the countryside. Up until now, Moses was nothing special, but things probably weren't so bad either. We don't get the impression that he was just itching for some action, or looking for a way out of the shepherd's life. Then God shows up.

Part of me wonders if most of us experience this same choice with God. We live an unburdened life, or that is our impression at least, we take care of ourselves and our own. But when God calls, his call is to something bigger than that. He calls us to enter into His plan for redemption and restoration. A plan that began when Abraham was called to receive God's blessing so that through him the world could be blessed. When God sent Jesus, the same choice was made, Jesus, the Son of God wouldn't trade the chance of bringing freedom for the comfort of an unburdened life. And today, do we live our lives contented, or shall we choose, as Moses did, the burden of bringing freedom to the enslaved.

Perhaps we can confuse the unburdened life with freedom, but more likely, what we see as the burden is really the blessing. The blessing of Freedom, capital F, not confined to a political ideology or an individual right, a freedom meant to be possess rather than fought for because it is already won, a Freedom so big that an individual can't contain it because it belongs to creation. So what is our choice? To cling to an unburdened life, or join with the Christ in his plan to free a people enslaved for centuries.

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