Praise God I just celebrated 14 years of sobriety, 5115 days one day at a…
On Monday, April 23rd I went in for my first radiation treatment. I climbed on to the table and laid down on my back. As they placed the mask over my face my first thought was, “this is ok, no problem”. But then they pushed the form fitting mask down tight to my face, neck, and shoulders. As they began to tighten the fasteners, like bolts, to hold it in place I became anxious, frightened, and nervous. I couldn’t move at all, I could hardly breathe, and was close to a full on panic attack!
I’ve become so accustomed to the freedom I enjoy in my life that this utter powerlessness was overwhelming. It reminded me of my life before Christ and the powerlessness I experienced for years as a bike gang member, convict, drug addict, and homeless person. The entire time living under the misconception that I was FREE! That living this “fringe” lifestyle, not conforming to the “worlds” standards of how society instructed me to live.
Going to work, paying the bills, and being productive. I thought freedom came with being who I was told I shouldn’t be, or couldn’t be. I thought I was free to get high, free to get drunk, free to not work, free to treat people horribly, free to live life on my own terms and not anyone else’s.
Just reading this back I hear the voice of others, still living like this, ringing in my ears and how silly it all sounds now. I see the bondage in that lifestyle. There’s no freedom in living that way. It’s racked with misery, shame, and embarrassment. The reality is that when we’re in that lifestyle it’s like being bolted down to the table under that mask and trying to convince those around us that we’re not.
We’re desperate to break free and don’t know how so we try to convince others that we are free hoping that eventually we might convince ourselves.
Then, as Christians, we experience the mask being unbolted from the table. We’re set free but many of us are so used to being bolted down that, although we’ve been set free, we continue to lie there with the mask on our face. Just the freedom of the bolts being undone feels so good that we’re satisfied to continue to lay there. It’s much like the prison cell door swinging open and we stay in the cell just being content that we’re no longer locked in.
Truth is He didn’t set us free for us to lay there or to lounge around in our cell. He set’s us free so that we can throw away that mask and jump off that table, He sets us free so that we can coming running out of that cell and help others to realize they can join us. These ladies, these angels come in and unbolt my mask after every treatment and I can tell you I don’t lay there! In fact, they undo the bolts and tell me to wait until they lower the table before I sit up so I don’t hit my head, because the minute the bolts are loosened I’m ready to come up off of that table and hit the ground running.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that although the mask reminds me of the powerlessness of my life before Christ it also reminds me to not be complacent in my freedom! In my freedom I have to be ridiculous, courageous, and bold! I MUST live a life that shows others the freedom I’ve found in Christ! I have to share this message both by my EXAMPLE and by my WORDS.
Where are you today? Are you still bolted down? Freedom is available. Are you free and comfortable on the table? Purpose and satisfaction are waiting on you.
John 8:36 “if the Son sets your free, you will be free indeed”