"Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about"
I want you to picture a scene with me. You are standing in yard watching a bird run repeatedly into a fence. It goes from one side of the yard to the other but never getting out. Wouldn’t this strike you as strange? Wouldn’t you think to yourself, “What is wrong? Doesn’t he know that the fence is only about six feet high? Why would he limit himself when there is an ever expansive sky waiting?”
The other day I was thinking about the language we use to describe the act of salvation. God “bought” our sins when he “paid the price”. It brought back a metaphor my friend Elijah Ortega once said and I will never forget. Imagine yourself standing at a register watching a customer bringing up a cart full to the brim. You look into it and see everything you have every done, every pain, regret, mistake, fear, depression, and failure. As the clerk scans item after item, you see the price keep rising. The cost seems steep and you could never hope to pay it but you see your rescuer reach out and pay it in full. Then rather than handing over what rightfully belongs to the purchaser, you grab the bags and attempt to walk away. But you cannot, these are not yours. You no longer have the right to them and their burden is not yours to carry.
The thing is that most of us would rather live under this weight of stolen sin than learn to live beyond it. Because the sin we know, the pain is familiar, the condemnation seems natural. But this peace is so foreign, so revolutionary that it changes everything about us. We cannot continue our life the same once we see it. So instead we bury our head and live like we are still struggling under the crippling load. But God is calling us out, to see the vast expanse that lays before us. Yes, it may be new and imposing, but we will never know a life fulfilled until we endeavor to meet our destiny. The caged bird may know the warmth of security, but it will never feel the exhilaration of daring to claim the sky.