Freedom

Picture Credit to Andrew Collart

Freedom. It’s not so much about the freedom to do what’s wrong, but rather what is right. Everyone has the option to do what is wrong, though they may face consequences, but not everyone in this world has the choice to do the right thing, at least not without extreme punishments. Yet Americans seem to forget about that, heck we even have the choice to not do the wrong thing, there are places in this world where you will be punished if you refuse to do the wrong thing. So let’s take a minute.

It’s 2020, and 2020 has taught us a lot about life and freedom. We saw in January with the death of Kobe Bryant, that no amount of money can make life less fragile, so live it. We learned that Tom Brady used his freedom to leave the team that brought him 4 super bowl rings.

Then times got a little harder. Covid spread like raging wildfire, and it is still running rapid. We went home. We suddenly remembered we had a family. We didn’t go to work, but we worked a lot harder. We realized what really mattered. We realized teaching isn’t so easy, and that our health care workers are amazing and so strong. And for once in our life, the blue collared class was finally recognized and put in the spotlight.Then with the death of George Floyd, screams for justice were heard across the world. All politics aside. You all know what you need to do. Those memes we saw around New Years that said we would finally be seeing 20/20, they weren’t kidding. Because I think we are finally seeing things clearer than ever before. At first things were confusing, and we didn’t know where to go, but things are coming into focus, and now it’s time to take action.

So now I would just like to cast you a vision. And I’m calling on you to live out this mission. Freedom. You have it, use it. Freedom is not following the crowd, and standing loud and proud. Freedom is not going against the crowd either. Freedom is getting on your knees and praying, and asking God for the wisdom to know His plan, and taking the action to follow that plan. Freedom in action , is the Carmelite Sister who went out and spray painted “God is love” and “The World will change when hearts change” on the convents cardboard covered windows. Then went out and knelt beside protesters in Ohio. Freedom is taking St. John Paul II’s words he spoke to the youth in Denver, Colorado to heart. He said “Do not be afraid to go out into the streets, like the first Apostles, spreading the Gospel of life”. The Gospel of life, the one that Jesus preached, saying that all life is sacred, meaningful and dignified, and every human is precious in God’s eyes. God loves His children. And we ought to out there baptising them all. That is why He sent His only son to die on a cross, for the forgiveness of sins. To break our chains, to set captives free. He came down, and freely chose to die, He descended into Hell and with His perfect sacrifice said “Let my people go”. Then He rose and conquered the grave, leaving us with the choice. Heaven or Hell. That’s everyone’s freedom, but some have freedom beyond that. Like us here in America.

There are 2.3 billion people in the world without basic freedom. Yet here are people like me, standing here with freedom that came at the cost of millions of soldiers lives, plus Christ, who I am free to worship and adore.Let’s put all that’s happen this year, aside. Not that it’s not important, because it is, but I want you to focus on what you do have and rather what you do not. I want you to focus on what God’s saying, not what the world is saying.Because listen up my friend, because God gives each and every one of us a very unique call, and His spirit comes down upon us and gives us each different gifts and talents. So don’t be looking in the next lane at Suzy or Brian. Stay in your lane, and PLEASE do not listen to the bogus lie that you need to spread yourself more thin, and that you need to love everyone the exact same. Jesus loved us all equally, but not the same. Jesus did not chose me to recline upon His chest at the last supper, or to be the next Mother Teresa, or the next Kobe Bryant. God chose me to be Mikayla Olson, to be a student at Northwest, to be the one who puts a lot of her time and effort into the pro life movement, and to study biology. My job is to be the very best Mikayla I can be, and to love myself for who I am, so that I can truly love others. Am I racist for not investing deeper into other causes? No. Am I heartless for not focusing on kids in foster care? No. I still love all these people, but through prayer and God’s guidance I have found my calling. Am I perfect at it? No, I certainly wish I did more. I wish I went out and sidewalk counseled more because I know the huge difference that it makes. I want to discipline myself one step at a time to use my freedom and use it wisely. 

Whenever you are faced with a choice chose the selfless one. This is how we die to oneself. This is the beginning of martyrdom. Because martyrdom, contrary to proper belief, is not so much about dying as it is witnessing to the faith. Everyone dies, but not everyone dies as a witness to the faith. That right there is true freedom. True freedom does not remove death, freedom removes fear. Freedom removes the fear of dying alone, the fear of being hated, the fear of being abandoned. Freedom starts a fire in one’s heart, that says whether I am free or imprisoned, I am still free because God is with me and He loves me. That’s a kind of freedom that nobody can take away from you, that’s a freedom from within. A freedom that can only come from deep, compassionate, fearless, unconditional love. 

Something that beautiful is sure to awaken the soul.Next time you receive Jesus I want you to remember this. I want you to remember that you are loved, and that you are chosen for a very specific mission. Ask Him for the grace to see it, and achieve it, and to do so unapologetically. Y’all say sorry too much, but I will save that for another blog. But anyways get out there, start praying, start acting. Because there are souls out there who need you. For the unborn, for the oppressed, for the imprisoned, for the children, for the homeless, the sick, and the abandoned, we pray to the Lord.

P.S. I just want to leave you with one last piece of advise. Pray with scripture. God speaks to us all a little differently. For me it’s often a voice I can hear within, but I still use scripture all the time. And don’t just read it, meditate on it. Do not worry about writing it down either. If it’s important to write down He will make sure you remember. Meditating on the gospel everyday is so fruitful. Fifteen minutes is good, but thirty minutes or longer is better. Read and sit there in the silence, and re read it as often as needed, focusing on the words or phrases that touch you the most. Praying like this is a great way to bring clarity and peace to your prayer life.

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