Security or Liberty?


Indeed, the journey of life is sometimes smooth and oft-times rough. More likely than not, people portray their lives as continuous cycles of ups and downs, very much like a roller coaster -- only not as much fun! 

One may describe his life as a series of setbacks followed by an occasional break-through, if one is lucky enough. For another, the journey of life is taking two steps forward and one step backward (or vise versa).

But are these perceptions realistic and, of course, are they beneficial? Do they distract us from dealing responsibly with the affairs of life? Do we not have a significant part to play in the way our lives unfold? Or rather, does it just happen to us anyway?

Let me offer another way of looking at these cycles of change.  It would seem to me that we regularly vacillate back and forth from a need for security to a desire for liberty.  Let me explain.

When we achieve a point of satisfaction and it seems that everything is going well for us, we don't want anything to change. We slide into the need of just trying to keep things the same . . . forever. Don't nobody move!!!

Of course, this can not be achieved for long, and sooner or later, we find we just can't wait for our previous good to return or a new good to appear. Our adventurous reaction reflects a desire for change and has replaced our need for playing it safe and keeping everything the same.

A ship is meant for sailing . . . so why then does it have an anchor? The answer is obvious. There are times when the ship needs to remain stationary, especially if there is cargo to load or unload. It is a time for caution. Safety and security are most important.

But the anchor must soon be lifted. For truly, if it is not lifted up from the sea, the ship will not be capable of moving forward to its destined harbor. Imagine the captain who refuses to remove the anchor: "My ship is quite stable now and I feel very safe and peaceful. It can be extremely dangerous out there on the sea. Anything could happen, ya know!"

Each day provides the raw material for learning to navigate the seas of life. Our goal is to grow in self-confidence through relying upon the divine compass to guide us in each and every experience of life.

The master Jesus vacillated between security and liberty in the garden of Gethsemane. His prayer of pleading for God to "take away this cup" was replaced with the prayer of surrender: "Thy will be done". Jesus trusted in God for a new and richer life experience -- for himself and for us.

Authored by Reverend Virgil Brewer at Unity Chapel
March 1, 2003

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