This morning I have been sitting here doing the same thing I do every morning. I read my bible and consider the things written and ponder how to apply them in the my life and the lives of those whom I have been entrusted with. This morning I have been considering freedom. Freedom from what? Well, in my context there is bondage to a lot of things. As a cheerleading coach I see the bondage that we all suffer from, which is the human condition, but also the bondage that comes with being a young person in America. Let’s also not forget the bondage of fear found in a lot of my athletes and those across the sport. As I read John 8 this morning I began to think about freedom from these things, and how to use these truths to help set free those in my care from all bondage. As a follower of Jesus it will show in my writing, I don’t apologize for that, but I think the second purpose in this is for my athletes. So if you read this, you will have to put up with both.
I was thinking about what it takes to set people free from bondage or captivity. What is it that makes us content in our situation? I can’t say for sure, all that I can share is my ideas and how I think the problems can be fixed. It is in our nature to want to escape captivity. No one likes to be chained up, or held back from what they want to do, or are passionate about. When there is something that we want to do more than anything we will do whatever it takes to find the way. Only when we lose hope will we stop the pursuit. For example, when I was growing up I wanted to play pro soccer. I trained and trained, and pushed myself to get as good as I could get in order to make it. I would workout in my room before bed and when I woke up. I played as much as I could, and if I found another activity that would help me get better, I would also do that as much as possible. When I blew out my knee I lost hope. When I lost hope, failure began to rule my life. Chain after chain I was being held back by each individual failure because each one brought another reason to lose hope. A lack of hope, brings an abundance of fear.
I watch my athletes lose hope on a regular basis. It is my job as their coach to reignite that hope when I see defeat in their eyes. When we develop the pattern of hopelessness we begin to see our fears hold us back. After this, the cycle is self sustaining. Hopelessness brings fear, and fear just feeds the hopelessness. So how do we get rid of the fear, by giving hope. Hope brings freedom. I know all to well the feeling that hopelessness and fear brings. The paralyzing feeling that fear brings keeps us from reaching our full potential. Because of this, we have to get down to the root of the problem and find that hope that we used to have that got us here in the first place.
Think about the things that used to drive you, think about the hope that you used to have in reaching your goals. What was it that made you want to do it, and what was it about it that you loved? Find that emotion, find that feeling, think about the joy that came from it and live in that moment. Think about all that it provides, think about what it might feel like to be free from the bondage of fear and failure. How would it feel to know that every time you failed you could look beyond it and recognize it is just one step closer to your goal. There is hope in the end, there is hope in the future, and there is hope for you. Find your hope, live in that hope, and be free from your captivity.
This is true for all of us. We sit in fear and hopelessness in our situations. We look around and lose ourselves in the negative outlook of a grim future. We look at our past failures and build on that fear and hopelessness. We fall to the same temptations, even when we know that they are doing nothing but feeding the very truth that we hate our reality. The truth is that we are afraid to step out on faith and let loose the bondage of our lives. There is hope, there is a future, there is life and His name is Jesus. He offers freedom, He offers hope, and He offers life. We all have hope, and in that hope we find our freedom. Whether it is tumbling or life, the lack of hope is what is causing your fear, so find your hope, be free from your fear, and live your life to the fullest.