And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence
It's there everyday as I walk into work -
a sign that boldly declares free entertainment, amenities and other enticements, all sure to draw folks in. I just wonder how many (if any) of those attracted by the 'free'(dom) offered here take any notice of the small print - 'subject to the terms and conditions of the establishment'.
That sums up our current 'freedoms' so well - you can 'externalize' liberty, making it about how you look, what you wear, what you chose to do (when you have 'free' time), but usually, this amounts to traveling the well-worn route of subjection to what is deemed 'free' - pursuits that are, apparently, expressions of freedom. The moment may be wild, a real high, but the 'terms and conditions' soon kick into play, and the reality is that we're far from free - our choices and our actions count.
It's stunning to reflect on what is often considered vital or important to our times -
theories of our origins, which, even if accepted, leave huge gaping questions about who and what we are,
it all gets pretty bizarre.
I was reflecting today on how Peter informs us how our age will be marked with a mindset which views it as 'freeing' to deride the notion of purpose ( - that we were designed to be here and that life amounts to much more than a instinctive, biological continuation of a species).
The neglect of our most inherent aspect of identity here, notes the teacher, is palpable.
The earth was created, and we are part of that work - a work which has been shaken when it has fallen and deviated from it's design - and the day of realization of that reality is fast approaching.
We can pursue the satiation of the 'hunger' we all have inside to be truly free, but (as Lewis notes), we were made to burn a particular fuel. Atheistic, Gnostic and Pantheistic notions all pander to quelling our deepest ache, but only Jesus Christ can stand before us and truly declare 'I am meaning'.
It's pretty clear to me that so many people who reject or leave Christianity behind do so not because of Christ himself, but because they have been burned or crushed by the weight of a 'terms and conditions' religiosity. Most of us have known the weight of that trial, but if we come back to the Gospels and the Epistles of the New Testament, we are soon shocked by something very different in nature - a call to a human reality that will mark us with a freedom defined by love, purchased and freely given through unwarranted, unmerited mercy.
Those are terms and conditions that make me truly smile.