Thursday, July 16, 2009

And when I am freedom will I be a waving flag?

Once again, I am referencing K'naan's superb song, Wavin' Flag. Sometime I'll break down the lyrics and point out possible references to K'naan's native Somalia and the awful situation there, but I would probably need to do a little prep work before that. One must not claim historical authority when writing on a topic without some backing.

Yet I often find myself drawn to that song because it speaks to freedom, something dear to my heart. Of course, freedom is hard to define, and one definition, which I reject as illusionary is that freedom can only be achieved through the loosening of bonds and obligations. I find that a perverse philosophy that leads only to self-nullification.

However, I find myself dangerously close to that place.

Out of college, secure job-wise, more money than I really know what to do with, and with most of my siblings established in independent lives, most of the old obligations that once bound me are fading. Those that remain, to my Church Youth Group, to my parents' vision for my life, to tradition, etc. are actually somewhat loose, though at times they seem to snap tight at me, and I, on occasion, find that to follow them too strictly or too fully would be diluting of who I am or simply unnecessarily painful. Still I make an effort, though probably I ought to make more, but if those are the only obligating forces in my life, well, I'm likely to find my life rather shallow and unhappy.

And then what of Rand, the great and glorious? What of that greatness and glory? Well I am a student of False Bravado and do believe in great and grand dreams. I am also ever the fan of the fairer gender. And while both these topics seem out of reach at times, they are something to aim for, and that aiming does bring some obligating force, some urgency to life.


Except, all that urgency centers around me. Yes, it centers around me doing good stuff and being good to people, but the central notion is that I have some gift to share with the world, or at least some specialness to share with a wife, and sometimes it's hard to maintain that. Consciously, I can tell myself that, but in the chemical roots of my emotion, boiling through my subconscious into my doubts and self-hatred, I don't instinctively believe in myself. Heck, I don't instinctively believe I deserve to live, but I think I've pushed that pretty far down (though the meds help, but always, all good things flow from God (but more on that below).

So I'm left with a struggle with my subconscious, which undermines my efforts and makes it far more difficult to cite some proof against my doubts.

But all of that... that's crap...

Let me make something clear. We are not dictated our natures by our emotions. My chemical imbalances do not have a right to grant or deny my future. They effect things certainly, but the fundamental decisions of life are made by ourselves. And by God, who then gives us a choice to follow Him. The choice isn't always spelled out in directly religious terms, after all, you can have the faith to move mountains, but if you do not have Love, you have nothing. Love, I believe a choice to follow Love, not as a particular relationship or circumstance, not as a simple emotion or need, but as an ideal, as a cause, as a force, as beyond description... that is the path of God.

That's my urgency. And from that flows my ambitions (though focused by what I believe God wants for me) and from that flows my belief in romance (for if nothing else, romance is a beautiful work of God's great art) and from that flows my love for people (in God's image, what else do I need to say?) and from that flows a belief in myself...

I feel tempted to hate myself at times, at times to be apathetic and uncaring toward myself, but while I try to steer away from self-centerness and arrogance, I can confidently say that I am loved by God. Personally, passionately, infinitely. God even sent his Son to die for me. Yes, this is the Love offered to all mankind, but God has no limit and neither has His Love. And if God deems me worthy of love, who am I to disagree?

This is my belief, and this is a religious one, but to those of different religions or the non-religious let me point this out. If you are capable of love, you are capable of something immensely, infinitely beautiful. Don't doubt your self-worth, don't even consider throwing it away. Even if it doesn't seem that way at times, everyone has a capability for love, even if they choose not to use it, or choose not to see it. And that makes us worthy, beautiful, and gives us an obligation to spread love.

After all, if Love is to conquer all, why not we do the conquering for it?

Perhaps I do not fully mean this, but here's a statement capturing the ideal to which I aim.

I love you all, take care of yourselves and each other.
(not that I won't be doing that myself, lest you mistake me for someone using that classic goodbye, I am not going anywhere, at least I don't think so, at least not profoundly, at least not yet)

So take it to your head, take it to your heart, and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

And God Bless.

No comments: