Zenos Frudakis – Freedom
When I first heard Alicia Keys album ‘The Element of Freedom’ I was really struck by the first track. There is no music on it; it’s just Alicia speaking.
“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight and closed in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom. This is the element of freedom. ”
Well friends, my day has come to bloom.
I’m off to be Community Outreach Worker for a circuit of Methodist Churches, just down the road from the Denby pottery in Derbyshire. It appears for the moment that God would rather I was a COW than a vicar and that’s fine by me. I’m very happy to be a COW for Jesus although my friends are threatening to buy the t-shirt! I’ve pushed the doors that I felt God was leading me to push and this is the one that’s opened, in fact it’s opened so easily I feel like I’ve fallen through it! I did try to tell God that I didn’t want it and maybe it wasn’t the wisest thing to do but His ways are higher than mine.
I have to confess to a degree of anxiety about it all. I’m only human. Organising relocating from Essex to Derbyshire in the space of 10 weeks, culminating in a move between Christmas and New Year is no mean feat! Thankfully God sorted some of the key things like a home and a school place so easily I could hardly believe it.
So I’m choosing freedom. I could have chosen the perceived security of keeping things the same and staying in the place I’ve been since the breakdown of my marriage. I could have chosen to pursue my career in education and speech and language. The options were available to me. But I know where I need to be. It’s time to move on. It’s time to move up (north and metaphorically!) and live again. I don’t want to make do anymore. I don’t want to be living in compromise anymore. I want to do what I believe I was made to do.
Eric Liddell once famously said,
“I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”
Honouring God in his running was what Eric was made to do. And that’s the thing. When I share the amazing love God has for us, I feel God’s pleasure. I’m deeply passionate about empowering the church to share our faith in a way that’s meaningful and relevant and when I’m involved in that, I feel His pleasure. I wonder what makes you feel God’s pleasure?
Everything is changing for us in the space of a few weeks. We’re giving up a lot to make this move but in a funny way, it’s not as difficult as it sounds. Simon Guillebaud, author of “For what it’s worth” sums it up when he says,
“I have never really made a sacrifice, for by being in His will brings incomparable peace, fulfilment and security.”
Now all I have to do is keep believing this stuff when I’m having a bad day!