Once, we were slaves who imagined ourselves kings. We did this by focusing on the brief frenzied pleasures that punctuated the ever lengthening periods of pain from whiplashes of unbridled desire. Indeed, we imagined ourselves free but it was our desires that were unfettered and bound us firmly, veiling our subservience with ever diminishing pleasure. Our bodies had chunks of flesh missing because we had begun devouring each other in our race for the top. Children’s distended bellies growled their longing for satiety while all about them, people reduced each other to commodities – mere conduits to our selfish ends.
Some of us looked upon the burgeoning chaos with knowing glances and saw in it the anger of an offended God. That was when they clenched their jaws and grimaced as they fought their desires not by bridling them but by denying their existence. If food tasted good, they spat it out. They consigned themselves to a life void of colour; a twisted holy chiaroscuro. Nobody can love a God they fear, that is impossible. They thought they were appeasing Him but alas, they were just using Him. Beneath the drab garb of a life lived in grayscale, they were prisoners of selfishness.
Along came a singular man who lived a life of happy temperance. He was no abandoned glutton but He was no long faced grouch either. In word and deed, He taught us that God was no enraged implacable judge but a loving Father. Instead of a life of preying on each other, He showed us a different prayerful life of holiness in full high definition colour. He was too bright for us with His freedom that insulted the illusion of our freedom for while we celebrated our mastery over each other, His life showed His mastery over Himself. We rejected Him, nailing Him to a cross but His death showed us that the chaos in our world was not an imposed penalty but the handiwork of unbridled desire. His Resurrection promised us the power to conquer for in it, He offered us the power to shake of our shackles and live in full colour, HD.
So it is that we struggle against our desires but each act of principle weakens our addiction to chaos. Each yes to God is a no to eternal death. Sweat may leap from our pores but it bears witness to freedom in Christ for only a fugitive slave disobeys his master. Some may see our struggling and call us hypocrites but they only know half the story; they don’t know that we are shaking off the broken chains; they need to learn that slavery to desire disguised as freedom is the most pitiful hypocrisy. Those who still with clenched teeth, vainly trying to define themselves by what they deny instead of embrace, may see our blinking tear filled eyes and deem us lost but they don’t realise that we are adjusting to seeing in colour; they need to learn that chiaroscuro is not holiness but a cheap blind substitute. In the end, we must enslave our desires or they will enslave us. Praise Jesus for the example and for the power to live a holy life in HD!
photo credit: _Hadock_ Everything is going to be OK via photopin (license)