Our seven-year-old Annie was learning to ride a bike. Struggling to stay sunny-side up, she’d weave between trees and parked cars like a drunken sailor as I shouted, “Look OUT! Don’t run over Mr. Rude’s leaf pile!” (A coveted landmark of our neighborhood.) and, “Pedal faster!” Of course, to her little mind, if she couldn’t control the bike going slowly, how could the answer be, “Pedal faster!”? But she obeyed, and it worked. She flew a block and a half and returned. Nailed it.
I recall like a scene from a classic movie in slow motion, Anna dismounting starry-eyed, like an astronaut returning from the moon, helmet under one arm waving to her cheering crowd of one with the other. Together we rode to the park. She pedaled her little Kermit the Frog legs to break the sound barrier. Her blond curls, an aerial banner proclaiming, “Land of the free! Home of the brave!” Her face radiating joy and amazement at accomplishing the impossible; she’d discovered what aviator John Gillespie Magee meant when He penned these words:
“…I have slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the silver skies…”
There is an “Annie Sensation” that occurs in the spiritual realm. That glorious freedom: running in obedience to God. David says to the Lord in Psalm 119:32,
“I run in the paths of Your commands, for You have broadened my understanding.”
Sometimes I think, “How can I run in His paths when I can’t even walk in my own?” But when I trust that He knows even more than stuff like “pedal faster”, and I do what He says in His Word- not partially, but wholly- I behold the aerial view, and I “slip the surely bonds of earth…”; the surely bonds of self.
A true Free Spirit is one led by the Holy Spirit. And like the writer of “High Flight”…
“… I Put out my hand and touch the face of God.”*
* Read the poem and the story behind the writing of “High Flight” by aviator John Gillespie Magee. It’s a great depiction of our life in Christ.
Anyone Who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. But if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed! -from John 8:36
We are not children of bondage (the law), but of the free (the grace of Jesus Christ). -From Galatians 4:31
You have been called to live in freedom, but don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13