Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Liberte'! Egualite'! Fraternite'!

Meres was born in the sultry month of June. And, trust me, this past June definitely qualified as sultry-at least on my personal thermometer.=) Be that as it may, we purchased an air condition window unit to keep our bedroom cool. Meres loved that sound. She started to sleep through the night, in her own bed, at 4 weeks of age.

Or at least, I think she did. Looking back on it, she could have been awake, and I maybe just didn't hear her. As sultry summer turned to cooler fall, we no longer needed the air conditioner, and Meres started waking up at night. We figured that she missed the noise. We decided to just use the fan on the unit for noise, and not for cool air. This lasted until November, when cool fall became rather too frigid for a fan. No more air conditioner, or fan.

And Meres woke up. Every night. This was not a good thing. Our new getting Meres to sleep through the night campaign included cereal, and a white noise maker. This seemed to temporarily solve the problem-until she went off the cereal, and white noise wasn't doing the trick. At last, about two weeks ago I wised up. The white noise maker migrated to MY room. Again, all are sleeping through the night. Or at least I think so.=) I can't hear Meres unless she is really wailing. Its a win-win situation.

Except for the past two nights, when I have been lying awake listening to the "air conditioner" and my mind is still going a hundred miles a minute. And this is the 100 miles it travelled.
Mr. Hippie and I had been talking about the Iowa Caucus. (I know, I promised I wouldn't get into politics, and I won't=)). He filled me in on the candidates, and then fell asleep.

As he was sleeping, I was thinking that I really am NOT a Republican. (no this is not a closet confession of a Democrat=)) I am more of the Libertarian mindset-minimum government, maximum freedom. And then I thought Mr. Hippie would probably be horrified to find out that his wife has secret Libertarian tendencies. Shocker! (though I did let him know that this morning, and he said he is a Libertarian leaning Republican also. Imagine that.=))

Then I was thinking about "Liberte'! Egalite'! Fraternite'!", the clarion call of the French Revolution. And how that whole concept DID NOT work for them. Have you ever read the Scarlet Pimpernel? That series and the biography of Marie Antionette form most of my knowledge of the French Revolution. Oh, and the Tale of Two Cities. All rather tragic, except for this dashing hero in a mask. Sigh...what a love story.

But, back to this liberty, equality, and fraternity idea. The key to understanding the way this worked is the mathematical principle of least common denominator-LCD. Fourth graders learn it. Instead of bringing everyone up to prosperity, you had everyone brought down to rags, and filth, and poverty, and hunger. Everyone was free and brothers and equal. Voila'!

Next thought...near the same time, the great US of A is being formed. The Declaration of Independence states that "...all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The Constitution, written about the time of the French Revolution, gives a Bill of Rights-Amendments listing basic rights and liberties US citizens that are guaranteed. And, from my perspective, it has worked pretty well.

Then, what is the difference between the French Revolution and the American Revolution? The French Revolution quickly disintegrated into anarchy. But, our law, the Constitution, is the basis of our liberty. It protects us, and others. You can't just be free. Our freedom has a basis. Without it, what's to keep my freedoms from encroaching on yours? America the Beautiful states it nicely. "Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy Liberty in law."

That is where my Libertarianism comes in. I feel it is my job to obey the laws of our land, and exercise self-control. Everything doesn't need spelled out. We don't need 40,000 new laws enacted January 1, 2012. We need freedom to choose, to live. Maximum freedom, minimum government. Unless, what I am doing is hurting someone else or their property, or is morally wrong-leave me alone! I think, at heart, not only am I a Libertarian, I also am strong willed, and I dislike being told what to do.

But...back on my thought track...I finished up my pondering with thoughts of Galatians, THE book in the New Testament promoting Christian liberty, and decrying bondage to the Law. We, as Christians, do not have to obey the law of Moses. But, we are not let off the hook. We are called to a much higher standard-the standard of walking according to the Holy Spirit. It is not a check list of things to tick off. It requires daily dependence on God the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:13-16 says, "For, brothers, you have been called unto liberty, only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, 'thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.' But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed of another. This I say then,'walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh."

Then Galatians 5:22-23 is the list of the fruits of the Spirit, that we are very familiar with-love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control. And, against those, there is no law.

Our liberty, the liberty in which Jesus Christ has made us free, is not a freedom to do whatever we want. We are brothers in Christ. We are all created equally in the image of God. And we are pulled higher-not the LCD-but to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:21 mentions the glorious liberty of the children of God.

And Romans 8:28-30, even more well known than the fruits of the Spirit, says, "and we know that all things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are called according to His purpose. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son; that He might be the first born among many brethren. Moreover, whom He did predestinate, them He also called, and whom He called, them he also justified, and whom He justified, them He also glorified."

So, actually, "liberty, equality, and fraternity" are Biblical concepts. We have liberty in Jesus Christ. We are Jesus Christ's brothers. We are equal sinners, equally justified through the blood of Christ. Viola'!

And that's what you get when you use a white noise maker.=)