Every so often, you’re given gifts you don’t ask for or expect. For me, it’s the lavish gift of sharing my book – Leaving Egypt: Finding God in the Wilderness Places – with our City Church San Francisco congregation this Fall. An early gift came this past weekend, as I presented on the material to our group leaders. One of the great gifts is feedback, even critical feedback, particularly when people are confused and perplexed by the material.
One reflection that excited me was from a man who noted that the journey from Egypt to the Promised Land is not a linear but circuitous route. He noted that we might even find ourselves in multiples places at the same time – in the slavery and entrapments of our ‘Egypts’, in the futility of our wildernesses, and even in the beautiful foretastes of promised land life. YES!
I wish it were an linear journey, and I particularly wish I was almost finished. I’d love to be unpacking my bags in the promised land, while eating and drinking of its abundance. But, alas, life is a whole lot more complicated than that. It is far-too-often three steps forward and two-steps-back. While I get foretastes of the great freedom of life in God, I’m also mindful of the many backtracks to the old enslavements of Egypt. Like you, I’m a mixed bag, torn in two directions, wanting freedom but sabotaging it, too.
The great Russian philosopher Nicolas Berdyaev writes:
Humanity is in a state of servitude. We frequently do not notice that we are slaves, and sometimes we love it. But humanity also aspires to be set free. It would be a mistake to think that the average person loves freedom. A still greater mistake would be to suppose that freedom is an easy thing. Freedom is a difficult thing.
I cannot agree more. What about you?