Young, Wild & Free
My pastor gave a sermon a few years ago I still remember so clearly. I wish I could have run back and grabbed my 18 year old self and dragged her to it. I wonder sometimes if I would have really listened or if you have to actually walk through it to understand. Either way I would have made younger me come and sit and listen because this terrible, old testament story somehow related to me.
The story was from a few chapters in Judges. Andy went through the gruesome details of the Levite and his concubine and their stay in Gibeah. How the men of the town wanted him but after a great deal begging, they look his concubine instead. When he got up the leave the next morning, she was dead. Somehow feeling remorse, he warned the other tribes of what happened it him. It sparked a war and they murdered the men and took the wives for themselves.
Just when I started to question where he was going with this story, he read Judges 21:25:
“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes”
I’m not sure why but listening to Andy read this verse took me back to a time where I remember verbalizing some form of that phrase. There was a time where I had lived on the straight and narrow, and I just wanted ‘freedom’. I wanted to do whatever I wanted. I didn’t want boyfriends or best friends asking me questions. I didn’t want my parents to know where I was or what I was doing. I wanted to go where I wanted to go and not have to worry about anyone asking questions. I felt like I deserved a break.
So I dyed my hair brown and never looked back (then went back to blonde a month later, but you know).
I wanted my own kind of freedom, the kind with no rules. I didn’t want to think if it was hurting anyone else. Because in those days, there was no king of my heart. I had replaced Him with other things and other people. I did what was right in my own eyes, without thinking of the aftermath.
I have a sweet friend who’s adopted “Young, Wild, and Free” as his motto. And I’ve joined right in with the fun. Young Wild and Free, what could be better?
The chant is all so innocent.
But there’s a really dark side to this mantra and if you've ever felt this way then you know it too. Young, Wild and Free only goes for so long. I found the futile freedom that I attempted to find flew me from one cage, right into the arms of another. And before I realized it, I was in a completely different cage and the door was shut.
I found myself very young, very alone, very much in secret, and very much caged. My heart wasn’t free, it was hurting. Which was the opposite of this freedom I so desired.
I love this anthem, it’s fun and carefree. But there is a very real Freedom. He’s good and loving and He made guidelines for you because He loves you oh so very much.
He desires a purpose that long extents your youth.
This past weekend was an annual reminder of this Freedom and the price Christ paid to give it to you. To me. He hung on a cross for our sinful selves so we can walk forgiven, fulfilled, and freed.
"The Lord’s freedom is chainless, cageless and good"
Be young, wild, and free. Dye your hair wild colors, do fun things and be spontaneous. Take road trips, meet new people and stay up way too late.
But taste and see that the Lord’s freedom is so real and so good and learn to love the hold the Lord has on your heart.