Where there is a to road to freedom, there are ditches on each side. We all have the ability to keep it between the lines but we have all found ourselves in the ditch at one point or another, too. The ditches seem to have two discernible flavors, depending on which side you find yourself stuck. Regardless of which one it may be, the solution for getting back on the road begins with recognizing the ditch for what it is. Generally, that takes another set of eyes to identify the blind spot(s) that caused the detour in the first place.
Over and over again, I find that when we get off course from the freedom we are intended to travel in and have even tasted, we are in one or both of the following ditches:
- Religion – when we slip back into performance for God, we gradually get more and more stuck. He has invited us to walk with Him, not to run out ahead of Him and do great things to impress Him. He is not impressed with our performance, but is overwhelmed by the identity He created in us. He loves us and wants to dwell with us. We don’t need to do anything to be in right standing with Him other than to offer Him our “yes.”
- Isolation – this is a deadly ditch. There are whispers of death and destruction when we get stuck over here by ourselves. The lies swirl in increasing measure as we begin to dismantle the beliefs that came when we experienced the truth of His freedom. Iron doesn’t sharpen itself and dull iron isn’t useful for its purpose. When we lose sight of our purpose, we lose sight of our worth. When we lose sight of our worth, we have lost sight of the One that considers us valuable.
Getting back on the road is relatively easy but it takes awareness of the ditch we are in. Calling it what it is affords us the opportunity to trade it in for what it is supposed to be. We can’t do this without other people and we certainly can’t do it without Him as our Source.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Where there isn’t freedom, there isn’t Him. If that’s true for any area, find somebody and tell them without reservation. Call it the ugly mess that it is without a single churchy phrase to soften the blow. Get back on the road.