“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn. 8:32) No, Jesus, I’d rather not, thank you. I’ve gotten by this long with my illusions about how life is supposed to be, which therefore justify my irritation and anger when it is not. I’ve managed to protect myself by projecting my expectations upon others, and blaming them when those expectations are not met. I rather like the world of magical thinking that I can escape into when reality threatens. Give up all of that, in the name of “freedom”? I don’t think so. Can’t you offer me an easier path to salvation?
But then, hasn’t salvation always required taking up the long journey to freedom? It’s right there in the Exodus story: your people making the difficult journey out of slavery and into freedom. And escaping from the shackles of Egypt, crossing the sea and entering the desert was the easy part. Only then, as the journey became so long and arduous, as their own expectations of God did not come to pass, as life refused to happen on their terms, only then did they begin to recognize how much they were still enslaved —not to the Egyptians. To themselves.
Jesus, help me to smash my self-created idols of who God is supposed to be, what God is supposed to do. Open my eyes to the truth, to all the ways in which I am still enslaved insisting that life be on my terms. My Lenten journey is not yet over. There is still time. Please, help me take even one more step toward freedom.