The Age of Freedom
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
~ Isaiah 61:1
At the beginning of the 21st century, the average lifespan in the U.S. is approaching 80 years. Somewhere on the planet this very morning, according to geneticists, is a child who will still be alive 150 – 180 years from now. Do you want to live 150 years? Well, sure you do, it you're healthy and active. But I'm not so sure that our very powerful instinct, to stay alive as long as we can, is as important in the long run (if you will excuse the expression) as how our lives are lived. Would you rather be Amelia Earhart, and die at 40, or, say, crime boss John Gotti, who died at 62 in prison? That's not to say we cannot live lives that are both good and long, but just to say that what we do with the time we have is at least as important as the sheer length of time we hang around the planet.
When you ponder it, you might discover that length of time does not equate to growth. Surely, as a society, things never really change very much; they just seem to come and go in cycles. Sexual immorality is currently up to levels that the West hasn't seen in 2,000 years. Hopefully, the 21st century will not see the kind of genocide that we saw in the 20th century, with Mao, Hitler, and Stalin setting new records for number of innocent people killed, but - the century is young! On the other hand, we see a lot less tolerance for racism than we have seen in many centuries and a high level of intolerance for slavery.
The same thing is true of individuals, by their nature. Have you ever wished you could go back and relive your life, so you'd know what mistakes to avoid? I read a science fiction book once, about a person who made just that wish, and it was granted to him. But — he started making exactly the same mistakes he made the first time. It was his nature. His actions were determined by what was inside him.
One of the key aspects of being a Christian is that we can be free of slavery to our nature! God lives within us and one of His avowed purposes, and promises, is to free us from the yoke of sin that we were born with. So love God, relish your freedom, and take advantage of it. No matter how long or short the time we have left, we can live it in the presence and love of God, becoming beacons to the world around us of hope and love.
Lord, let me live my remaining days in the freedom, truth, and love that can come only from You. Amen.
~ Mason Barge
Editor, Daily Prayer