Only True Freedom is Found in God
By the Right Reverend Father Michael D. Jordan
Only true freedom is found in God. Truly the day our physical body dies is the day that we are paroled from the prison we have built for ourselves! During our lives we unwittingly build ourselves into a prison of our own design. There are many walls in this prison that we fashion for ourselves. Some walls are higher than others, some of the walls are clear as glass, we canít see them, but they still imprison us just as effectively.
I was driving to work the other morning and while praying, it dawned on me, Iím essentially a prisoner in a self made prison. While itís true, I live in America and we have the freedom to live our lives as we wish, I have taken that freedom and fashioned it into a prison.
We can become prisoners to debt. Who in America is not for that matter? In these days and times we must to have a place to live, a car to drive, clothes to wear, and we must feed our families and ourselves. Many times when we cannot afford to buy these necessities, so we have to use credit, enslaving ourselves to our creditors.
We become prisoners to our careers. Itís not just good enough to have a job; we must have a career! A career with an upward path, one with real responsibility! With this "real responsibility" strings, or shall I say, chains are attached. Look around the office of virtually any company and you will see people talking business on cell phones in the elevators, while at lunch, while walking to their cars. The sound of pagers pierce the air both day and night, drawing the chains of imprisonment ever tighter around us.
When we think back to the time before cell phones and pagers, was the business at hand any less important? Whatís changed? Patience, thatís what! Our society today has no patience at all, we have to have everything here and now, waiting is not an option! Waiting for something now is referred to as "critical downtime". Must every second of our lives be spent in pursuit of material efficiency?
You can go into virtually any office in any business and see pictures of family and loved ones on desks. Yet, most of the time, these people spend more time in the office with the just the pictures of their loved ones than they do at home actually with their loved ones! The "critical downtime" that we spend sleeping does not figure into this equation. Even when we figure in the "critical downtime" of sleep, thatís often interrupted by business needs that just canít wait until the next day. Again, our lives are being held prisoner by the responsibilities of our careers!
"Twenty-four-Seven" is the motto for this new millennium! Businesses are proud to announce that they are open twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week. Who pays the price for this? We do! Itís bad enough to think that someone would have 24 hour per day pressure Monday through Friday; however, now, itís expanded to the entire week, including the Lordís day! Truly, we make ourselves prisoners to our careers!
We can only break free from this prison by constantly placing God first in our lives. You may have to work for a living; however, that doesn't stop you from constantly remembering God while you work.
Peter of Damascene's article in the Philokalia says: "One must learn to call upon the Name of God, even more than breathing - at all times, in all places, in every kind of occupation. The Apostle Paul says, 'Pray without ceasing.' That is, he teaches us to have the remembrance of God in all times and places and circumstances. If you are making something you must call to mind the Creator of all things. If you see light, remember the Giver of it. If you see the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that is in them, wonder and praise the Maker of them. If you put on clothes, recall whose gift they are and thank the One Who provides for your life. In short, let every action be a cause for remembering and praising God, and lo! You will always be praying without ceasing and therein your soul will always rejoice." Truly, God is our only Freedom!
A surge of amazement flooded my heart and soul
Author - Unknown
One of the strongest prisons we can build for ourselves consists of anger and hate. This prison is filled with darkness and overshadows the light of your soul. If you don't break free from this prison your soul will continually suffer in darkness. The only way to really break free from this self made prison is to forgive all those who have trespassed against you, unconditionally. Pray for those whom you feel has brought harm to you. Truly, through the forgiveness of God, can we obtain our freedom!
Another popular prison we build ourselves into is through deceit and dishonesty. This prison is the darkest of all prisons, because our fellow man can't see through it! Through deception we appear honest, when, in fact we aren't! This prison has many architects, and becomes the most confining of all prisons. This prison is built from evil words spoken behind people's backs. The leg irons and chains are lies and gossip. Judas Iscariot built himself into this type of dark prison by betraying Jesus Christ. Unable to escape the torments and fetters of this prison, Judas took his own life! God never rewards deceit and dishonesty. "For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to the light. Therefore, take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him." Luke 8:17-18
We must take heed to hear Jesus, the Word of God, because His Words bring light to our souls. This light must not be covered but allowed to shine forth. The more one permits God's light to shine, the more light is given. As Judas did, you shut out the Light of Christ by building yourself into a prison of deceit. If we desire to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, we must be honest with ourselves and also with our brothers and sisters in Christ, lest we shut out the Light of Christ within us!
The love of God is greater far
Frederick M. Lehman
Only true freedom is found in God.
Prayer for Freedom
By The Right Reverend Father Michael D. Jordan
Lord Jesus Christ, Our Lord, God, and Savior,
Hear us this day when we call upon You.
You have taught us by example how we should live,
You have instructed us to love our Brethren as we love ourselves.
You asked those who are burdened to come to You,
And you will give them rest.
Come to us this day, and grant us rest.
Free us from all the self-made prisons that hold us fast.
Deliver us from ourselves,
As we, through our actions, lay snares for in our own path.
Dispel all deceit and dishonesty from our hearts,
Tear down the dark walls of hate and self will,
Shine the Light of Your love and forgiveness into our hearts,
And teach us that to be free is to dwell in Your Light.
Grant us to see the beauty of each new day,
Help us to enjoy all of Your creation with simplicity and innocence.
Restore us to the childlike freedom that we so often long for.
Remind us that one day when You call us to our
Eternal Home that we will then experience
The true freedom of God.
In the Name of the Father, and of The Son, and of The Holy Spirit.
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