Thursday, December 17, 2009

parachutes, fish, and freedom

I've told the parachute analogy many times before. Two guys jump out of an airplane; one has a parachute and one does not. The one without the parachute mocks to the other bragging that he is free from the encumbrance of the parachute. Which man is really free? Which one understands the laws of gravity and physics? Which one is truly free to enjoy the event with the assuredness of safety in the end?

The point of course is disciplines and constraints actually liberate us when (and only when) they fit with the reality of our nature and capacities.

So I enjoyed reading Tim Keller's fish story. A fish, because it absorbs oxygen from the water rather than the air, is only free if it is restricted and limited to water. If we put it out on the grass, its freedom to move and even live is not enhanced, but destroyed. The fish dies if we do not honor the reality of its nature.

"Freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones, the liberating restrictions. Those that fit with the reality of our nature and the world produce greater power and scope for our abilities and a deeper joy and fulfillment." Keller concludes, "Instead of insisting on freedom to create spiritual reality, shouldn't we be seeking to discover it and disciplining ourselves to live according to it?"

It is the love of Christ that constrains us (2 Cor 5.14).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have quoted you so many times in regard to the parachute story. It has helped me put things into perspective on more than one occasion! I miss seeing your family pics on your family blog!