Be a Free Bird?

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I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know God. I didn’t know Jesus. So I didn’t really know anything at all. But I thought I did. I thought I knew so much. So I wrote a poem as a child that I probably supposed could have changed the world. I don’t know if anyone outside my family ever saw the poem. But the world sure has changed anyway in the past few decades, hasn’t it? Somehow the world got a hold of the notion of my poem. The poem that could have cost me my life. The poem that is costing the world its life.
Flying Free – in my low-budget pajamas
Be a free bird in life.
 Be what you want to be. 
Do what you want to do. 
But be yourself. 
Maybe I was influenced by the rock ‘n roll song back then called Free Bird. Maybe not. Maybe I wanted to fly away. Why would I? Where would I have gone? I tried to fly anyway. Time and again. Only to come down for one crash landing after another. That’s what happened because I was. The wrong kind of free bird. The kind that is what it wants to be. That does what it wants to do. That is itself. And so I was, and so I did. Thud.

Sometimes birds crash into buildings with a hard thud. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they live, injured. I crashed and crashed. Injured. Headed for yet another thud. That’s how free I was. The world’s ways are deceiving, aren’t they? Freedom in a bottle. Freedom in bad relationships. Freedom in suicide. Freedom in pills. All sorts of so-called freedom. Freedom to be myself. Freedom to be ourselves. What kind of freedom is it anyway when the ultimate landing place is eternity in hell? And hell on earth as a precursor to the final fiery destination? That’s where this free bird was headed.
I crashed one too many times. And looked up one day from the ground where my knees and heart had hit once more but this time saw a man called Jesus who got up on a cross to die for me so I could get off my free bird pathway to hell. That’s how I found the pathway to freedom. In the man who died for me. In the man who paid off my sin debt for me. In the man who rose for me. In the man who is Christ the Lord. 
And I learned along the new pathway that being free doesn’t go along with being who I want to be. Nor does it come with doing what I want to do. Nor does it come with being myself the way I always saw myself. Nor does being free come without a price. Being free isn’t free. It’s not as simple as merely saying Jesus paid the price. He did. But there’s another price to be paid. The price I now know. The price of saying NO. 
NO to who I wanted to be. NO to what I wanted to do. NO to being myself. For now I am no longer mine. I am His. The Lord’s. This free bird is learning to live this new life I have been given through Christ not my way, but His way. 
And now I’m not flying loaded down with deadly burdens and crashing every other breath. Now I am soaring. Soaring high above this world that lives like the kind of free bird I thought we all should be. Soaring above where the Lord God almighty carries me in His hold, embracing me in His fold, at peace in the place nobody can see, in me, free because despite the cost I pay to leave my old life behind, my freedom lies in Him. So free. 
“…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BEDISAPPOINTED.” 12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; 13for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” Romans 10:9-13 NASB

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23 KJV
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