Emancipation Proclamation

Friday, August 23, 2019
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Kathleen Kjolhaug
Religion Columnist

Theology in the Trenches

Wish it wouldn’t be so difficult … drawing the line in the sand to emancipate and proclaim that one is ready to leave the nest. Coming into our own should be a rite of passage experienced with joy from both ends of the spectrum. There are many stages preparing each party along the way because after all, nobody wants to hang onto the ole apron strings and feel attached forever. And truth is, even the apron wearer does not want the added weight tugging at them as hearts strings are often hard enough. So why is letting go so difficult or often times downright painful?

Maybe it would simplify things if we could give our young adults a baton symbolizing this rite of passage. To allow our children to begin making their own decisions with trustworthy precision is indeed a gift.

It frees up the adults to focus on their continued callings in life while at the same time, it frees up the child to be the adult they are called to be.

I suppose the allowing of them to “make their own decisions with trustworthy precision” is the part that is flat out hard. The world is a daunting place in which to build community and equipping them to smell healthy in places that often deceive can easily put mama and papa bear into high gear. Perhaps the only thing both adults and young adults can agree on during this transitional stage in life is that at this point … it can be hard!

Parents wonder if the foundations laid were solid enough while young adults wonder what other foundations might work better. Some things that were taught will be rejected … some other things will be picked up … and still other decisions will lead the young adults off into wilderness wandering for a time before turning their hearts towards home once again.

One word that can be linked to a healthy launch is the word obedience. That word, however, can be confusing. Sometimes those wearing the apron might view this word authoritatively, while those who’ve been holding onto the strings may interpret obedience as something that merely cramps their style … or they see obedience as stifling.

True obedience is neither authoritative nor stifling. True obedience means freedom to and freedom from. Obedience is the freedom to pick up that which has been laid down as well as freedom from anything that does not resemble the Love which Christ laid down in obedience.

While folly looks like fun, it has the power to devour. Onthe-other-hand, out of obedience we cling to truth. John 14:6. “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” It’s a plumb-line that has sure footings as it’s built upon solid ground. “Jesus is the Rock of my salvation” (Ps. 89:26).

“I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). “I have come that your joy may be full” (1John 1:4). You see, His desire is to give to … not take from.

Perhaps it’s not the letting go of the ole apron strings that is important … but rather the transfer of them to One who can hold fast. As we cling in obedience to His apron strings … we will have true freedom with no strings attached. Amen.

( Kathleen Kjolhaug is a religion columnist.)

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