“I am independent. I am independent.” What does that even mean?
Everywhere I go, everywhere I turn, someone wants to confront me, discuss with me or blast me about independence. Whether it is school children, parents, business folks or politicians, it is there. Independence. Each day I read stories about the very fact of independence.
I love my independence. I am thankful for what I have and who I am. For choice. But as I come into the home stretch of 60 years I feel I have learned a few things.
Am I really independent? As my dad would have said “you’re free and 21. You can do whatever you want.” (Clearly a different generation, but the thinking was; go ahead, strike out on your own, make your way. Your successes and your failures.) Independence is living away from people, paying no one, owing no one, seeing no one.
What? Is that really true? And even if that is the truth. Is that really what we want to do? Too many people have grown up from the perspective that “I have grown independent”. So my question is what have you grown independent of? Your parents? (Ha!) Your family? Maybe… But then there are bosses, governments and other situations.
Perhaps there is a necessary understanding of what independence really mean. We have become so focused on what the founders meant by it that we have bypassed the very understanding of what God has to say about independence or dependence. (For me, getting my own room was “independence” but with it came added responsibilities! And troubles.) We could start with “abide in me and me in you” thinking and that “independence” jumps right out the window.
The more I look at people heading out to make their own way, the more I realize that there is an underdeveloped generation when it comes to God and His thinking on independence. The phrase “a man’s man” does not have the value, the understanding, or even the meaning that it did when I was a child. It is clear to me at more than half a century that man on his own is living apart from the goodness that God intended for him to have with his family, his friends, and his neighbors.
The internet has simply exacerbated the problem, the issue. We do not “need” people. We just need machines. Virtuality. We have built relationships on not getting “involved”.
God never intended for man to live apart from Him. Even in the garden debacle God left when they did and followed them out because they needed Him. He needed them. The very sin of the garden was to be able to “figure it out on their own” and be like God. To be independent of their dependence. (Yeah, that worked out well.)
There is a growing contingency of folks who are looking to be successful (Maybe they even are but have little to show for it other than a bank account or two.)and to be more independent. Hard to do when you are hardwired for community, for people, to be a social being. That your DNA is heavenly in nature. Hard to do when it works against the nature of God. Love. How do you love when there is no one? Real success will involve people, if we want use that word, success.
Don’t try to go it alone. Just catching a few snippets of the one man show results of the NBA play offs was enough for me to realize “team” is important. Be who you are. Embrace it. But learn how it integrates with others. How it works. How it promotes grace.
The greatest independence is that which is founded in dependency on God. [tweetthis]The greatest independence is that which is founded in dependency on God. [/tweetthis]
Sustenance from heaven. Created for life.
Young people. Life is better lived with others. It is one of the greatest harmonies of heaven. Stop spending so much time trying get free of something that you fall flat on your face when you get free of it.
We have mental hospitals and jails filled with with people who could not figure this out. We have families of dysfunction and generations of pain, because we do not understand what it is to stand on one’s own two feet and love God. We have business failures and economic tragedies because people thought they could go it alone.
As much as there is unhealthy independence, there is a healthy dependence. Stop trying to express yourself and release God in the moment. Spend less time trying “to be me” and more time on the us. Even the Lord’s prayer began with “our Father” signifying there was connection to God, founded in dependency on Him, a need for one another and an “US”. We have spent too much time talking about codependency, intra-dependency and no-dependency.
God is not a bad Father who does not pay child support or sees His kids. He is God who fiercely loves His children. He has met your needs. And NEVER leaves you.
I was once asked about my crutch, God. I told the person He was not my crutch, but in fact my life support system. He was the air I breathe.
Spend less time on finding out who you are, more time on who He is and you will see who He made you to be. (avoid that and you will soon find out what it feels like to not be in the garden anymore!)