Do you ever long for that carefree feeling you once had? Do you ever wish that you could experience the liberty and freedom that you had, say as a child or maybe another time in your life when stress was almost nonexistent? For me, there are two times that I remember feeling that kind of burden-free living. Most of my childhood was that way and then one summer in my early 20s when I worked at a Christian summer camp, I felt it again.
There were some very interesting similarities between the two experiences. First, there was the fact that my food and lodging were provided. As a child, my parents provided that and as a camp counselor, the camp provided the same. Then, there was my schedule that was for the most part mapped out as a kid and also as a camp worker. My needs were provided for by my parents as a child and my paycheck as an adult. And, within the parameters of the expectations, I could do what I wanted. As long as my chores were done, I was free to socialize and explore. As a kid, I had many friends and enjoyed spending time with them. I also explored the streets on our side of town on my bike and I spend lots of time exploring the trails in the woods across from our house. At camp, the same held true. There was much fun to be had with the teenagers and fellow counselors and there were great places to hike and canoe.
So, what’s the secret to freedom and how can we get it today? One word comes to mind, “Boundaries”. Observing boundaries does the opposite of what you might think. Instead of creating places that you aren’t allowed to go, it actually marks out a territory in which you are completely free to live, socialize and explore. Think about it this way. If you create a budget, then you are free to spend the money you have left, after your determined obligations, on anything you’d like without fear of consequences. If you set other parameters to live by in your social life, your health, and your work, you create open spaces for stress free living without fear.
When you let Christ set the boundaries in your life, you are truly able to live a life of freedom within that framework. I realized a long time ago that God, like my parents and those who made the rules at summer camp, wants the best for me. He wants me to live without the stress and consequences that come from a life of rebellion and disobedience. If you are truly ready for freedom, try submitting to God and living in the liberty that only comes through a life lived well. Submit to His loving guidance and you’ll find the innocence, the peace and the joy that are promised to you. And Jesus will set you free. He said, “whom the Son sets free, is really free”. The question is, do you really want to be free?