by Heather Spring
I know what you are thinking… “I like her shoes!” Yes! That’s exactly what I was thinking!
Another thing I’ve been thinking is, “Why didn’t God just create a bunch of puppets?” Why did I have to have choices and screw up life? Pinocchio had it all wrong. Stop striving to be a “real boy” and just move when your creator moves you, dance when you’re told to dance, enjoy the way He leads you. You wouldn’t end up with a freaky nose that grows when you say the wrong thing or befriending the wrong people and captive at a weird but alluring Pleasure Island (been there, not what I’d call a good time). If we could just be puppets on a string we would be safe in our Father’s hands. But our Creator thought it would ultimately be best to start life by cutting the strings. We wake up in this world and realize our arms move when we want them to and if we want to go there, we just go. We don’t have to hope, we have a say in the matter. Spiderman once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Too bad, so sad we don’t take this into consideration as we frolic around our little world demanding our course. As a puppet I would think ultimately I would enjoy my creator because I would recognize I was nothing without him. As a puppet I would see the joy that the creator had over his creation, the smile that would overtake his face as he showed me off to others. If something broke, obviously he would be the one that could fix it, untangle my strings, and make me like new. I would love to be that close to my creator. But when I was created, before I could rub the sleep out of my eyes, I woke up and ran. You could say I was trying my legs out, but in reality I just didn’t want to stay put. I liked that I had a choice and freedom. My Creator knew we all could run or forget He existed. That was a possibility and probability. He created me inside and out. He hoped and at some level knew, that at some point, I, Heather, would turn and recognize Him for who He is: my life-giver, a no-strings-attached kind of guy.
But things have changed these days. I have to say even though I’m free and I have choices each and every day, I don’t live free… on purpose. I choose to live upside down. I love my Creator and in turn – desire to dance when He says dance, go where He says go, move with the movements of His hands. I stay close not because of strings but because of love. I want to please Him and see a smile on His face when He shows me off to others. I want to stay so close that when I’m broken or need tending to, He’s right there. I have now come to realize even without the strings attached, I’m nothing without Him. Indeed, there are no physical strings; it’s a choice to connect myself to Him. It is a beautiful, free life that I personally participate in, make choices in, find purpose in, and time and time again fail in. This freedom is wonderful and at times feels like a curse. So badly I want to be perfect, like a puppet, but I’m not.
It’s all upside down really. I’m not a slave, but I make myself a slave. Not because I am pathetically hopeless, but because I’m optimistically hopeful, that He will choose to use this life for a greater cause than I could conjure up on my own. That finding my place as His slave makes me more free than when I ran about searching for the next Pleasure Island simply to be yet again disappointed, disillusioned, wounded, and taken captive.
”Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.” -1 Corinthians 9:19
A slave has always been such a harsh word. There’s very good reason for this. In times past, and unfortunately in times present, there are people being forced to work for another, being dominated, controlled, manipulated, abused all for the sake of ownership and furthering oneself in life. Money and power have a lot to do with slavery. But can you imagine choosing slavery? The fact is we are all slaves. It’s just a matter to whom or what we are enslaved to.
Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:15-16
I have chosen to chain myself to One that is good, period. He is a Master that doesn’t manipulate, shame, embarrass, harass, control or dishonor. He longs to invite you into His world so you can experience a full life. Like I said, we are going to be a slave to something. In the book of Romans it’s described as becoming a slave to righteousness. Two words: Slavery and righteousness, it seems one should cancel out the other or maybe be locked in a cage to fight to the death. So what does it mean to be a slave to righteousness? Can you picture submitting and attaching yourself to virtue, morality, justice, decency, uprightness, honesty… God? Because even though you are choosing chains, you’re choosing chains that fasten you to God, a bonding through slavery that creates a union for life with Love, Life, and Perfection.
This feels upside down. You might be thinking, “I thought we were born without strings.” We were. “So why can’t I run my life?” You can try. Let me know how that works out for you. I’ve walked in your shoes. I’ve watched others “run their lives.” It’s never a pretty ending. See if you’re not quickly a slave to something or someone else. But there’s an up side to being down, down in a servant’s position, on your knees offering your life to your Maker. It comes with a joy that you won’t find chained to this world, a slave to your fleshly desires, controlled by the very things that leave you empty. Obeying your Master and Maker leads to living a life that you were ultimately created for – on a mission that has been embedded in your little heart since the beginning of time. A chance to live out a life that feels right, bigger than little ole you, a pride in each step as you walk hand-in-hand with your Creator.
The more I read in the Word the more I realize how upside down I am. I have for so long lived wanting to move up, to be noticed, to build life the way I’ve always dreamed it to be. But the more I read, the more I come to see all these wants, hopes, and goals should really be leading me down. And when I obey His voice and bring myself low that’s when He raises me up. There is an up side to down. Living low raises Him up. And when His name is proclaimed, everything in me resonates and celebrates. Because why should the created be worshipped and the Creator be forgotten?
So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” -Matthew 20:16