Are you in a rut? Do you wish that you could find freedom by breaking out? Is your job a drag? Are social norms and rigid “truth claims” making you feel suffocated? Perhaps you are like the goldfish who wants to get out of her fishbowl.
In actuality, many imposed or self-imposed constraints are not healthy. Too much can produce irritability, defensiveness, or even a sense of superiority.
As long as we are in the “fishbowl” we can blame the glass surrounding for our negative experiences. But when we leap from the water, rejecting all confinement, we find ourselves gasping on the dry grass. Ugh! But take heart! The pressure and suffocation of this experience CAN be a positive thing. But how?
If you are flattened right now, gasping for life, it’s a great time to admit “I can’t survive here.”
A fish grounded cannot get herself back into the water. She must ask one higher to pick her up and put her back. Faith is required for such a declaration.
As a wife and mother of five, I feel confined quite often. The pressures seem unending and I want to bolt. Loving family relationships require personal sacrifice and that is restrictive. Nevertheless, rejecting those relationships produce isolation.
We cannot survive in such a place.
Think for a minute with me. What are we made for? A fish is made to enjoy the freedom of being who he is, swimming in the water, eating fish food, and playing fish games.
We humans are made to give and receive love. We are to create and make the world a better place. When selfishness, resentment and defensiveness prevent us from giving, we are losing the freedom to be who we are!
We will thrive in “living water” spiritually charged with encouraging words:
“You are loved and eternally important to the one who made you.”
“You have gifts that are to be used to help heal the broken world in which you live.”
“Selflessness, forgiveness, and hope are the attributes of your flourishing.”
Just being religious is not freeing. The fear of failure is always lurking. It can become dehumanizing to continually give up our freedom to a god that seems to only demand obedience.
Only one system of belief offers a love relationship with God in which he restricts his freedom for our sake.
The son of God jumped out of his glorious fishbowl and entered the dry deteriorating environment of our world for one purpose: to give us freedom. On the cross he gasped and gave his life away… So that we could have a loving relationship with him.
When anxiety, fear, and resentment build up we need to get back in the water. Restrictions always exist, but the proper restrictions produce amazing freedom and joy.