Prisoner of hope

September 22, 2018

 

A prisoner of hope. What a strange term for something that sets us free. I love the phrase for that very inversion. A prisoner of hope is captive to it. It’s not one who’s in the camp of despair, nor one caught in the drudgery and mediocrity of no man’s land. This “prisoner” cannot help but be filled with hope. In my imagination, this prisoner’s name is Freeman.

 

I ran across the phrase while I was reading the Old Testament prophet, Zechariah. I became immediately curious about other passages of the Bible that may use a similar inversion. What came of it was a meditation on the nature of freedom and what makes us truly free.

 

On Saturday afternoons I teach a guitar lesson to some youth in Chapala. We’re still on the basics: chord shapes and simple strum patterns. Basically, they’re learning how to use each hand with correct form. They are not yet free to create music that lifts their soul, like wings on a current of sound. That kind of freedom comes only through enslavement to a regimen. Or you could say, that kind of freedom comes only through discipline.

 

We submit the children we love to discipline all the time. We teach them, through many hours, how to read & write, how to be polite in company, and how to clean their rooms. We also steer them away from behaviors which would be “incorrect form” for a good, virtuous life. We do these, ideally, because they are things which will lead them to a life of freedom down the road. What principles or practices are you submitting to for a greater life of freedom?

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