Wednesday, July 11, 2007

thoughts on freedom

below is a reflection from a newsletter of our friends nancy and matthew. they are astounding in their commitment to a call of creation care. we cannot recommend his book more highly - "serve god save the planet." it makes you want to be a better person and live a more faithful and sustainable life.

Thoughts on Freedom, as we approach Independence Day:

"In an ideal world, all would be free. All would know freedom from want; all would have the freedom to worship, assemble, and petition the government.

But we live in a fallen world, full of coercion and greed. It was not until our family became the followers of a 2000-year-old carpenter and teacher that we learned that we must sometimes lose in order to win (emphasis mine). Our new master said that we must not “judge others or we would be judged,” that we must “love our neighbors as ourselves,” and that everyone on this planet is our neighbor. He calls us to use our freedoms to secure the same for others, and to consider how the actions and inactions we take today impinge on the freedoms of future generations. He teaches us that freedom and its cousin, happiness, can never be complete when others know want, need, and oppression.

In giving, we gained. In submitting, we conquered. In giving up the pursuit of personal happiness, we finally found it.

Only when we enslave ourselves can we finally experience a freedom that surpasses all understanding."

-- Matthew and Nancy Sleeth

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