Necessary and voluntary limits

By Dave Henning / August 12, 2022

“We live in an age of #wanderlust.  We think a move will be the cure for our boring lives.  But what if there are necessary and voluntary limits we must submit ourselves to in order to experience home?  The climb to find home in the modern world is entirely uphill.”- Daniel Grothe

“The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ “- Luke 8:38-39 (NRSV)

Daniel Grothe concludes Chapter 1 of The Power of Place as he observes that the impulse to bounce around is nothing new.  And when Jesus saw that impulse, He confronted it.

In Luke’s account of the Gerasene demoniac (Luke 8: 26-39), Jesus drove the demons out of the broken man and into some pastured pigs.  So, as Jesus boarded a boat to cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, the freed demoniac raced down to the shore to jump aboard.  Because he wanted to leave his old life and join Jesus.  But Jesus said no.

Thus, Jesus freed the man to sit still, stay put.  Hence, the first sign of the man’s freedom = stability in place.  So, in Luke’s account Jesus understands stability as the opposite of being trapped or stuck.

In conclusion, Pastor Grothe offers these words of encouragement.  He writes:

“And like Jesus, we know the difficulty of staying in our homes and in our home country.  We want to run, to flee, to go with Jesus any place other than the place of our old associations, our stagnating pain. . . .  We think it will be simpler on the other side of the lake.  But Jesus won’t let us run away. . . .  [Luke’s] story is the story of a man who finally found enough freedom to quit running.  He was so free that he could now stay.”

Today’s question: What makes it hard to submit yourself to necessary and voluntary limits in order to experience home?  Please share.

Coming Monday: the August Short Meditation, “Old song into a symphony”

Tomorrow’s blog: “Saints are always made somewhere

About the author

Dave Henning

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