free indeed

We are free indeed.

I believe we all have a path. It is our life to discover it, explore it and walk it with joy. It is yours and yours alone, undefined and uncontrolled by others. Yours.

But truth… that is another matter. As the great philosopher Krishnamurti said, “Truth is a pathless land.” No one owns it. It belongs to no religion, sect or group or power or people.

The person in this drawing has discovered freedom. It is overwhelming and awesome. Truly.

There are those who will always attempt to modify freedom. In seminary, one of my professors used the illustration of a train: it is only really free when it is on the rails doing its job being a train. But I’m not a train. And neither are you!

You are a living breathing human being free to wander in the garden of delights. Enjoy your freedom!

Own the original drawing! Or buy a print of this cartoon.

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PLEASE NOTE: THE COMMENTS DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT OR EXPRESS THE OPINION OF THIS BLOG, NAKEDPASTOR, OR THE WRITER, DAVID HAYWARD, BUT ARE SOLELY THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED BY THE WRITER OF THE COMMENT.

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17 Responses

  1. Sabio Lantz says:

    Freedom?

    The Jewish Scriptures speak about nothing but commandments, rules and punishments for breaking them or rewards for keeping them.

    As for Christian scriptures, it depends on which passages you underline -- there are lots of different voices there. But I think your cemetery teacher was essentially right that the overall tone of the New Testament is freedom on rails.

    So who is your little guy in the drawing speaking to when he says "You"?

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  2. Steve says:

    "I believe we all have a path" I think I disagree. The chap in the picture seems not to have a path. He has a world to explore. A path sounds predefined, like rails. I think we are called to explore and be where God is working. Or where he isn't yet able to.

    Maybe it is just me, but if we are not living in "now", and realising that "next" can be anything, we are missing a whole part of this freedom.

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  3. Steve Martin says:

    God revealed in Christ Jesus is the Truth.

    He has set us free in that knowledge, and that knowledge, alone.

    Outside of the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus for sinners, there is no hope or freedom for humankind...by only the wrath of God.

    The Book of Romans.

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  4. Gary says:

    "The wrath of God"...does not endure forever. It is temporary and redemptive like a loving parents discipline. "No hope or freedom for humankind" outside of your narrow interpretation Steve Martin?

    The fact that you believe that Jesus truth only has a very narrow and limited scope and there is literally "no hope" for those who don't see it the way you do makes your Jesus very weak and powerless.

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  5. Sabio Lantz says:

    FYI for readers here without a picture: Click here and you can go to Gravatar where, for free, you can put up an avatar image to accompany all your comments here and on other sites. It also helps to remember commentors.

    Let's beautify the Naked Pastors comment threads and get rid of those sad grey silhouettes. Besides, I am dying to find out what the ever reliable Steve Martin will choose. Any guesses?

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  6. Syl says:

    The freedom of trains...

    Trains. Unparalleled for transporting heavy cargo and volumes of passengers from one static, defined location to another across vast distances and inhospitable terrain. Heavy duty, reliable, scheduled. Usually very safe for passengers and freight.

    Building a railroad or expanding its territory requires voluminous capital, extensive labor, and acquisition of rights of way (through one means or another). Once built, maintenance is a never-ending, expensive necessity.

    Railroads can open new territory and provide access to otherwise inaccessible locations. But trains are also inflexible. They require skilled operators to monitor the conditions ahead and respond within the limitations and capabilities of the machine as conditions dictate. Trains cannot change course - their path is defined Objects or people in their way are pulverized - or, if an unyielding object of sufficient mass is encountered, the train is derailed.

    Generally, an appropriate metaphor for the church and most of religion and religious belief, regardless of the flavor.

    Trains can provide highly effective transportation within their capabilities and limitations, but they do have significant limitations which render them ineffective or even harmful if the realities of their operations aren't understood.

    No, we are not trains, and hopefully not living merely as passengers in our lives.

    Thus endeth the parable of the train (from the granddaughter of an Illinois Central Railroad engineer). ;-)

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  7. Doug Sloan says:

    For each of our lives, there is no "path."

    Every step we take is new and in uncharted territory - and there is no going back.

    We can look to the journey of others for advice and inspiration, but we cannot walk their path, we cannot duplicate their journey.

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  8. Vie says:

    I read somewhere that complete freedom and true freedom are different things.

    I'll ad lib the explanation; We have the freedom to drive on the road, but we don't have the freedom to drive on the wrong side of the road, because that would result in collisions and injury.

    Basically, do we just want freedom from godless control, which we should try to escape, or do we want the freedom to make a mess of our lives?

    This is all pure speculation though. I mean if that is true, I'd bet hundreds of people will jump in to tell me exactly what would make a mess of my life based on their own interpretations of scripture.

    What's important though, is that the new testament is not a rule book. The mess we're in now is because people are trying to treat it like it is.

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  9. Doug Sloan says:

    Our faith, like life itself, is a journey - and there is always a starting point.

    For many people, including many here, it started with seeing the Bible as inerrant and to be read literally. It started with a wrathful jealous God. Our faith was about fear and exclusion.

    As our faith grew and matured, we became aware of the unrestrained love and unconditional grace of God. We let go of the fear and embraced an all-inclusive relationship with the immenent Divine.

    Be sensitive to people who are stuck on a long-term plateau. Their fear can be overcome only with constant visible love and the safety of unconditional acceptance. Anger, attacks, and rejection will only strengthen and validate their fear.

    It is not about where they are on their faith journey. It is about where I am on my faith journey and how well I am being a patient, loving, grace-full traveling companion.

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  10. Karl says:

    What is a path? Is it a predefined route? it may be. Or it may not. We talk about the path taken by an object in space. You may place me on a lonely moorland and I can take a path across it, but it isn't necessarily one defined or visible on the ground.

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  11. Cynthia says:

    Sue Monk Kidd wrote, "The truth shall indeed set you free but first it will shatter the safe, sweet way you live."

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  12. Sarah says:

    Thank you.

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  13. When we're out of the lamp there's no getting us back in no matter what our religious masters say.

    As Spirit Genies we touch all around us with the Otherness of Divine Love.

    Sacred Space indeed.

    Thanks David

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  14. Christine says:

    Freedom is a difficult concept.

    For instance, you ARE free to drive on the other side of the road. Nothing's stopping you. But you don't have the RIGHT to drive on the wrong side, so your decision to do so will likely result in you losing freedom in the future is some way or another.

    We ARE free to do things that harm us, that are not beneficial. Freedom would not be freedom if it were only to act within a limited confines. Free will means we can chose. But we wisely decide not to exercise all the freedoms we have. All things are permisible, but not all things are beneficial. Therefore, it is wisdom that should determine what we do do within the freedom of what we can do.

    What would limit freedom is not negative concequences, but the inability to see or select from the choices we could otherwise freely make. A worldview, for instance, can be limiting to freedom. That gets into negative versus positive freedom (which is not good and bad freedom, by the way, but freedom from restraint versus an ability to act). The train example is a severe abuse of the concept of positive freedom. It only gets more complicated from there.

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  15. Mad =^..^= (AKA ccws) says:

    "I prefer to believe that if the Lord walked here and people said, 'Here is the beaten path,' He would say, 'Show me the weeds. I will make a path.'" ~one missionary priest speaking to another in Ray Bradbury's "The Fire Balloons"

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  16. Doug says:

    I agree with Christine's first point: "Freedom is a difficult concept."

    Controlled or not. Wasn't it Bono who sang, "Freedom looks like too many choices?"

    Freedom seems even tougher to live out. But that's a wonderful "problem" to have. I'm grateful for it!

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  17. Louise says:

    Love it!
    I don’t think that we all have our own preordained path, but I believe we are responsible for creating our own path.

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