Carmen, my predecessor in the Sunnybrook drama ministry, left me a huge tub of scripts that they've used in the past. Reading through a few this weekend, I came across one called "The Prisoner". A man who's been in prison for 14 years is suddenly granted release by the governor. His sister is called to pick him up, but as he waits for her to arrive, he grows more and more reluctant with the idea of leaving. Prison is comfortable, predictable, easy . . . it's what he knows. His sister tries to get him excited again about all he can do now that he's free, but it just doesn't sound as tempting to him as the security of his prison cell.
Reminded me of the movie "The Shawshank Redemption." And of the slaves in the South who stayed with their masters after they were freed.
I've always been a bit troubled by the scriptures which talk about our having once been a slave to sin, but now being freed from that. Because I still often feel like a slave to sin -- at least, to certain sins. Surely I'm not alone in this, in having certain pet vices that I continually return to for comfort and security. I know they don't fill the needs in my life . . . I know they stand in the way of what I truly want and what God wants for me . . . but they're familiar, safe, easy . . . I have had a hard time understanding how I am free from those sins when they pull at me so strongly.
This skit helps. I am free. I can open the cell door and walk out anytime I want to. Nothing is forcing me to live this way. Yet I choose to do so. I am unpracticed in free living. It feels awkward and shaky. Amazing, isn't it, how we can prefer the familiarity of slavery, even with its hardships and limitations, to the challenge of freedom?
I'm guessing that if I look closely, I will find application for this principle in many walks of life. Oh, for the courage to truly be free . . .