If you're interested, leave your comments, and I'll post some more chapters as I write them.
Come on - you'd love to be free! To have nobody else telling you what to do! Imagine what it would be like of you didn’t have to keep the rules that somebody else had made up for you. You could do your own thing. Be your own person. Dream your own dreams.
That’s what I wanted when I was at school. Everybody else had their own expectations as to what I should be like. My parents wanted me to be successful. My teachers wanted me to work hard. My friends wanted me to be the same as they were. They didn’t like people who were different.
But there was something within me that just wanted to do things my own way.
When I started at school ...
When I started school as a little 5 year old boy, nobody wanted any of us to stand out as individuals. They dressed us all in the same school uniforms so we all looked pretty identical. We sat in rows of desks and all did the same lessons. The boys played boy-games and the girls played girl-games. And if I didn’t want to be laughed at by all my friends, I quickly learned that I wasn’t meant to hang out with the girls. They picked on me and said I’d get ‘girl-germs’.
But there was a particular girl that I liked. She was a 5 year old cutie. And I thought it would be really cool to be the first boy at school to have a girlfriend. But I had a problem. Not only wasn’t it ‘cool’ for a boy to hang out with the girls, but how on earth would I ever let her know that I liked her? Life, girls and relationships can be tough for a 5 year old boy.
So I devised a cunning plan. I worked out how I would let her know that I liked her. I decided … that I would sit down in her lap. Okay – looking back now, it was probably a dumb idea, but as a 5 year old boy – I thought it would work.
So I planned my moment. It was lunchtime, and everybody was sitting down outside having their lunch in the schoolyard. I saw the girl of my dreams eating there. I carefully manoeuvred into position. Now was my moment …
Once I got close to her, I made my move. In an attempt to claim the crown for being the first boy in Kindergarten to get a girlfriend, I walked straight in front of her lap – and sat down! I had struck a blow for individuality! I was finally doing my own thing!
The one thing I didn’t realise – was that for lunch that day, she was eating a meat pie. She had the meat pie precariously balanced on her lap. So when I sat down in her lap, I sat square in the middle of her meat pie! When I stood up, I had huge chunks of gravy, meat and pastry all over my little blue shorts. All the other kids laughed at me and called me ‘pie-pants’.
I was ridiculed by the boys; laughed at by the girls; and reprimanded by my teachers. It’s a tough life for a 5 year old boy who wants to be an individual …
You might not have done anything as dumb as I did, but I’m sure you have felt the frustration of simply wanting to escape from everybody else’s expectations. Everybody else wants you to fit in with their plan. There are rules to be obeyed; expectations to be fulfilled; regulations to conform to … It seems like everybody else has a plan for what sort of person you’re going to be. And I’m sure at some stage you have wanted to run away from it all and just yell out “I WANT TO BE ME!”
Have you ever wanted to run away?
You might be dealing with some serious stuff. There could be huge hassles with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe everything is a bit tense at home and you’re looking for any opportunity to hang out somewhere else. Perhaps you and your mum had a shouting match this morning. Maybe things aren’t great between your mum and your dad and you’re not even sure they’re both going be there for you when you get home. Maybe your grades are not great at school. Maybe life is not great at school. There might be stuff in your life where you’re struggling to break free.
There’s so much pressure that teenagers have got to deal with these days. There’s a whole variety of people who will tell you that you’re not good enough. There’s an endless supply of critics who will point out your every mistake. Part of our culture is that one way we survive is that we pay out on everyone else. But you know what it feels like when everyone is paying out on you.
Sometimes you just want to be free. You want to be free to be the person that you really want to be. You want to be free to be the person that God really wants you to be. You want to achieve your potential; reach your destiny; and enjoy everything that this world has to offer. You want to be in charge of your own life; design your own journey; and break free from all those other people who want to control your life.
Wouldn’t it be great to make your own decisions? To come out a winner? To feel like a winner? C’mon - you just want to be free. You just want to be you.
But you can’t do it. Everywhere you turn there’s someone else who wants to control your life. Every time you try to get up there’s someone who wants to push you back down. You just want to be you, but everyone else wants you to be someone else.
There are always rules you have to follow. Someone else has got a better plan than you have.
Sometimes it can feel like God is one of those people who gets in the way. You want to be the real you, but you can’t. You have to be the “Christian” you. Everyone else gets to do what they feel like – but you – you have to obey what God says – you have to ask the question “What Would Jesus Do?”
I’m sure there’s been a moment where you’ve felt like breaking free from God. Maybe you’ve seen some of your friends give up and walk away from Jesus. Perhaps you’ve reached the point of wanting to give up as well. Maybe reading this is your last ditch attempt to hang in there with Jesus for just one more day.
I don’t know why you’re reading this. Maybe someone suggested you should. Perhaps the title intrigued you. Maybe you were just plain bored.
I don’t know why you’re here. But I believe it is no accident that you are here. God has brought you here because he wants to mess with your heart. He wants to release you from whatever is holding you back in your life. He wants you to be liberated to become the person that he has destined you to be.
God doesn’t want you held captive by other people’s criticisms. He doesn’t want you dragged back by your failures and mistakes. He doesn’t want you weighed down by your own sin that you find so hard to deal with.
God wants you to break free from all that. God wants you to be released to achieve the destiny that he has created for you. God wants you to experience the joy of being free to be his precious child.
Are you ready to meet God in his word? Are you ready to be truly free?