Raymond Arthur Waugh, Sr.
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Let me, then, discuss the freedom question and its counterparts. This question of freedom recurs constantly in social history. The striving for freedom and the desire for freedom are in their larger parts good and the inspiration for much of human accomplishment and advance.
Some, however, in seeking freedom apart from the context of the complexities of their time, destroy themselves in ill-timed and fruitless causes. Others, recognizing the "limitations" of their times, determine to do the best they can and be content and fruitful within the will of God. This was the case with the Apostle Paul who, in accord with that wonderful passage of Scripture we find in Philippians 4:11-13, learned to be content.
You do not know and, of course, I do not know what direction or directions your life will take. But you can never go wrong in doing the best you can within the context of the limitations in which you find yourself. You always do right by doing the best you can in every situation. Your life has already been fruitful, but ahead are even better and greater days.
In chapter X of my book, "From The Hills to Hell, Then to Heaven," you will find a glimmer of insight into something of my struggle with the "impossibilities" and the "complexities" of the question of freedom. This is not an empathetic approach [that is, I am not saying that it should be easier for you because others are suffering or indulging the impossibilities with you]. Rather, I am saying that you can find elements of freedom or areas of freedom in every circumstance and situation.
Look at the matter from the football point-of-view. There are very specific areas of limitation and regimentation or lack of freedom. Nevertheless, when the heart and the mind are right [regarding the ultimate end of the purposes of the limitations], there is a degree of exhilaration to the Uniform that you wear or the regimented suiting-up, exercising, breaking sweat, training and lining-up. Further, there comes that moment when the ball is snapped, and a "team effort" becomes an individual responsibility.
In the "game of life", Christ Jesus is the Quarterback for all who are on His Team. Those who are really playing on His Team have equal, individual responsibility, although each one does something different. Not everyone can play end, not everyone can play tackle, center, guard, halfback or tailback, but each one is as much in the game as any other one.
Sometime, the Quarterback will get all of the glory. At other times, the center or the fullback, or even the end will be the one who gets his name spread among the people. Some may never make the limelight, but the Coach and the Quarterback know the importance of those who do not strike the peoples fancy. It is much the same in life.
Some may seem to be having a bit more freedom of movement at the time, but the fullback or the quarterback, or the linemen are operating on pretty much the same rules and toward the same objective, and vice versa. In the game of life, the Apostle Paul explains it pretty well in I Corinthians 9:19-27. Here, the Apostle Paul is struggling with the problem of freedom and the lack of it. In the 24th verse, he relates it to a race.
Here, men run races to win prizes, and only the few can win. With God, however, one can run -- even in the midst of all of the "impossibilities" and the "complexities" -- while recognizing his "servitude" to men for God, and at the end there will be a prize. Very simply, God is not limited in his rewards. Men, in their humanity, may praise only one or two on a track or on a team. Men may lay their crowns [limited in number] at the feet of only the few, but the Heavenly Coach and the Heavenly Quarterback will enable all who run "to obtain."
Your decision to go on for higher learning was a good one. Even now, I get a funny tickling feeling inside sometimes when I think of it. You are a man! I am proud of you. The "drive" or the "pull" which provided you with the impetus to go on was a further move of Gods Hand in your destiny; the molding of your life for His Praise.
Now, make every moment count within the "limitation" and opportunity of that decision. By "making it count," I do not mean that you must "drive" and "dig" only! Nay! There must yet be a place for meditation and for day-dreaming for the future is pretty much made up of dreams that come true -- not always as you planned them, but without the dreams you can never scales the walls made up of "impossibilities" and "complexities" that appear to put an end to freedom.
With the dreams, however, you can sing with the poet, "Walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage." John Bunyan took his actual imprisonment as an opportunity and wrote Pilgrims Progress. Within the pages of this book , there is not one mention ever made of his dungeon, the inequities, or the squalor! The key, then, is to mount the walls of limitation on the rungs of the ladder of spiritual and intellectual opportunity.
For freedom in any final sense can never be ours while we dwell in temples of clay with all of our frailties and limitations. In fact, within the context of our mortality, perfect freedom is but a phantom or a shadow that some choose to chase for a lifetime. Finally, we must learn as Solomon of old that "it was vanity" [purposeless foolishness].
Some suppose that money will buy freedom, or that position will provide it. However, the highest executive position in our Land, that of President, is the one with the least freedom. Secret Service Men dog his every step. Reporters block his every view to the outside. And ever-pressing responsibilities close the door to any real freedom or relaxation!
Within the complexities of life or the areas of Gods provision, we accept the limitations in the confidence that He is able to utilize our shortcomings, our weaknesses, our failures, and even our foolishness in the fulfilling of His Purposes among men. The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:10 says, "When I am weak, then am I strong." The Apostle Paul limited himself or he became content with the limitations that were upon him in order that others might be free to do the same; looking ever forward to that perfect freedom that is ahead.
Thus, though it may seem that we are tragically and impossibly limited at times, we really are laborers together with Him who has never known limitation. That is, He has never known limitation apart from His own willful sojourn in the flesh as the "Son of Man" or "the Seed of the woman"! While in the flesh, we are bound by the "complexities" and the "impossibilities" of life. Nevertheless, as the servants of Almighty God, in a very real sense we are free servants, freely serving a Great God. Although we are limited by our flesh, those about us, the laws of men, and the things with which we have to do, in Christ Jesus there is a limitlessness about everything that we do.
Impossible though it may seem to be, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free," is the never-ending word of our God to those of us who serve the Lord Jesus Christ, in faith. Then one day, when we lay down these temples of clay -- as we must if Jesus tarries -- God will say "well done." Then we shall enter into "True Freedom" and glory! Verily, we shall enter into the wonder and the likeness of Him who has gained the Victory over sin, over death, over Hell, and over the grave. "We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2), truly forever free!
Updated Friday, October 17, 2008
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