“To follow the Lord and find freedom…”
This is how one of the Church hymns begins. I’ve sung this song many times, like many of us sing during Mass or service – in auto-pilot mode – without paying attention to the words and meaning of the song. Just recently, I was drawn to pay attention to the meaning and I was confused, stunned and awed at what I realized about the meaning of the first sentence!
I realized that the sentence was ironical. “Follow”, “freedom” – how can they go together? How can someone follow another and still be free? Freedom means no strings attached, right?
And then, I was drawn to think about a kite. When does the kite fly high? When it is connected or when it is detached? We know the answer. A kite flies high when it is connected by the string and the spindle to the flyer on the ground. The moment the string breaks, the kite falls to the ground or is blown away by the gust.
A great realization filled my mind and I was wowed at the meaning of the sentence – “To follow the Lord and find freedom.” There were days, weeks, months and years that I spent away from my God thinking I was free, thinking that was absolute freedom. But instead of being free I was like a detached kite, falling to the ground, being tossed and turned, being torn by the forces within and outside me. And then I found God! A God who loves me, knows me, supports me, strengthens me, a God who is always there for me, a God who understands me like no one else does! Once I came to know and to be with this God, I realized what true freedom felt. There are gusts for sure, but I sail through it as long as I’m connected to my Creator, my God, my Heavenly Father. In following Him, I find my freedom.
“The person who entrusts himself totally to God finds true freedom, the great creative immensity of the freedom of good… He becomes truly himself.” – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI