In this day and age, we value freedom. Probably people of all times have value freedom. But what is freedom? Do we really have freedom in this life? Is any choice we make really a free choice? Look at childhood. Do we get to choose what to wear, who to play with, what our toys will be? No! Mom and Dad choose buy our clothes, will sometimes not allow certain friendships and usually end up buying the toys as well. It is only once those things belong to us that we have some small choice in which objects to use at a given moment. But then, those choices aren’t free but are controlled by the circumstances. We can’t even always choose when to use certain things: we would never wear our PJs during the day and our Sunday best to bed. We are not allowedto play with our toys during mealtimes or when at school. Then it comes to even the choosing of the school we attend. Usually, even if we choose not to go to school we have to (or else there are consequences). See, what we see as a free choice is really a “I’ll choose this because I don’t like the possible consequences of not choosing it” type of choice – not free at all!
Or say, we are done grade school and want to go to college. Is that our choice? To a certain extent, yes (although the way things are going in our world now are making it difficult to earn a living without some sort of postsecondary training – whether technical college or university). But then, we still have to meet the college entrance requirements. And we are only able to go to a university that works with our living needs.
Now let’s look at daily living. I want to get some groceries. Do I have a choice of where to go? Well, close by I have 3 stores I could choose from. At one, my bank account would be seriously hurt from the outrageous prices, at another the produce’s freshness is questionable and the other is somewhat of a happy medium. So my choice is now controlled by the amount of money I have and the quality of food I need. Hmm, still not an entirely free choice. But we’re made to think it is, aren’t we? J It’s all an illusion.
What if I want to go downtown? Can I go any which way I want? To some extent as some routes will take considerably longer than others. However, my choices are still controlled by laws. I may only drive on the right side of the road, I must obey all traffic signs/lights, I can’t drive any speed I want and I have to stay in my own lane. That doesn’t sound like it’s giving me much choice!!
Or what about that wonderfully gorgeous outfit hanging in the store window that I might want. Can I just take it? NO! That would be stealing! So again, my choices are being controlled. What about the neighbour down the street that we might not like too much. Can we pull a Mafia job and “dispose of him”? Absolutely not! That would be murder! See? The law of the land also controls our choices! Where in life is any choice really, honestly, and truly free? I would have to say no where!
Even in the choice of faith. Can we choose to believe in God? Not in our own power we can’t! Only if the Spirit of God is moving in us and changing our hearts toward God can we believe. Freedom of choice is an illusion this world wants us to believe we have. Really, it’s nice to live in the illusion for some things. I like to think I’m free to choose what to wear and what to eat and what to play with. However, in the spiritual realm, I’m thankful I don’t have freedom of choice. What a wonderful, powerful, gracious God we serve that He would choose me to believe in Him, to be His child! J
What are your thoughts?