We lose freedom when we become firmly attached to something we cannot let go. I can cite two examples in my own life. In my younger days, I had always wanted to drive a fast, sporty car. I went through an MGB (sporty but not fast nor reliable), a Fiat sport coupe (I don't even remember the model number anymore; all I remember is that one day, the car's last day, the gearshift stick became completely detached), an RX 7 (attracted by its rotary engine), a first generation BMW M3 (bought it because my son's friend was forced by his father to unload it cheap), and then two decades ago a second generation M3 (which my son is now using). Of course, there were always cars even faster and more sporty out there. I finally realized that I was being enslaved by my desire and it had to stop. I now drive an old Prius with great peace of mind.
My second enslaver was my love for music, especially classical piano music. I subscribed to a host of music magazines. Spent a lot of time visiting Tower of Records everywhere, looking for the latest LPs or CDs. One place I ordered recordings from was a mail-order outlet in Massachusetts. It stocked all the overruns and discontinued recordings. It was a treasure house where I could find numerous new labels, new composers, as well as hard-to-find recordings by well-known artists... all at bargain prices. One day I realized that I could not go on being driven like this for the rest of my life. What would be the point? It was difficult, but I started stopping my magazine subscriptions one by one. There was one I could not let go yet, since I started with issue #1. Later, I terminated it too (the last issue came and is still sealed in cellophane). The joy of freedom I experience now is on a entirely different level than the pleasures I derived from my old obsession, which were oppressive. The liberation was made possible by the grace of Christ in union with me.
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