Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Escaping the bondage of "I"

Excerpted from the article The Existential Exodus.

How do I escape the bondage of my I if my I is me? Not with love...Not in meditation... Not with any striving for enlightenment...

But only by exchanging this bondage for a greater one. The ultimate bondage.

The separateness of these two beings is a prison. Their communion is freedom. And how is their communion? Through a betrothal of my I to that original I. As we did when we bound ourselves to Him through His Torah, saying, "We will do."

And so G‑d told Moses, "When you will take the people out of Egypt, you will serve Me on this mountain." Because there is only one path to leave Egypt. Not by
being this or striving for that, but by bondage to an Infinite I, a bondage that knows no bounds.

That is something I want right now. To find ultimate freedom in a total bondage to Him. I'm reading God's Smuggler (thanks, Brian!) and it hit me today that Brother Andrew loves God just like St. Francis did.

When I saw Brother Sun, Sister Moon for the second time I missed a great deal of the movie because I ran out of the room crying. I wanted what Francis had and knew I didn't have it.

Speaking of "binding" ourselves to that original "I," I have done something concrete to make that promise firm in my own mind. Since I do not plan on getting married, and indeed have come to the place where I don't want to get married, I wear a simple, $7 cross ring on the ring finger of my left hand. It is to remind me that though I am not married to an earthly husband, I am - in a very real way - married to God. So the "we will do" of the Jewish people becomes the "I do" of a single, non-Jewish woman. And God accepts me just the same.

wedding ringIt's so easy to lose the passion for God we had as new believers. "Life" gets in the way. And then I see a movie about a person like St. Francis or read a book by Brother Andrew about his adventures and I am reminded how real God is, and that He is still very much at work in today's world. His miracles didn't end with the close of the New Testament.

It's been said that God doesn't have favorites, only intimates. I want that close relationship, and yet I won't allow myself to get close for very long. Am I lazy? Or am I afraid? If I'm afraid, afraid of what? Why do I always hold a part of myself back? Why do I give less money to charity now than I did when I had less?

Father, help me to draw closer to You and stay. When I wander, draw me back again. Put in my heart a burning passion for You. Help me to fulfill the purposes You have for me. You have given me so much, and forgiven me so much. Help me to give You the worship You deserve, in every aspect of my life. Help my life to be a witness to the world of Your love. And help me to one day give myself totally to You.

Technorati tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 comments:

Wize_One said...

Excellent Post. Thanks for sharing

Brucker said...

You know, I've considered asking you this question before, but this post brings it fresh to my mind.

Do you ever think of your own choice of devotion to God over marriage in comparison to the Catholic phenomenon of nuns? The other day, at work, a woman came in wearing a necklace with two rings and a cross on it. I'd never seen anything quite like it, and it made me suspect what was pretty much verified a moment later when one of her companions addressed her as "Sister". As Protestants, we don't really have such official Holy Orders, but certainly you're not the only person outside of Catholicism who has chosen such a life. Have you ever thought about any of this?

Newbirth said...

Not really. I mean, if God wants to sent me a husband then I would go along with that. I'm not anti-marriage; I just don't *want* to be married. I've had so many bad experiences that I'm not interested in a husband, and at least in Christianity, being single is okay.