Somewhere between coming of age and becoming an adult, we strike out in freedom. As I look back through the eyes of mythology, I know my freedom came in a smooth evolution. I am quite sure it was anything but, yet I remember my first embrace of freedom as if it was yesterday. As I experience it though the eyes of my daughters, I am a very different perspective.
I wonder if parents ever think of their children as adults. While I am comfortable with my choices of friends, am I ever comfortable with theirs? Each act of growing up lingers, giving credence to my fears and doubts.
I struggle with the danger that I see in their lives. I know that I am involved in risky situations of my own, but I am confident I can handle them even as I fail. What makes me so different?
I find myself measuring their progress against idealistic goals, even as I rationalize my steps away from my own. I know the reasons for my change of plans. Am I listening to theirs?
Our realities pivot on the freedom infused in our being. We have it. We long to use it. Even as others constrain us, we fight to make it our own. Nobody else can have it! Our kids should confirm. Our gods should fit within our expectations.
There is large “but” to our views. Wisdom fathers remind us that “the God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself.” (Acts 17.24)
We, God’s kids, reflect our parents. We do not live alone; we live in community. We do not need servants; we thirst to serve. We can take care of ourselves; it is the greatest gift that we can give.
Freedom is ours. It is an awesome responsibility. It is a wonderful opportunity. We can make the world better. We can help. We can live in community.