If the centuries-old hymn is right—there are blessed ties that bind me to others —I wonder if there are also cursed binds that tie or obstruct me. Another way to consider the matter: What enwraps or impedes me so thoroughly that I can’t escape, and what can I do about these shackles or blockages?
A first step: Name the bonds that entrap me or stop me cold. I can examine my unhealthy habits or addictions; harmful relationships; attention-demanding technologies; anxieties and fears about the future; favorite sins; theologies that constrict the Gospel; overactive emotions; peer pressure; chosen lifestyle or even growing older. Perhaps like you, I have my own (very private) list of what keeps me apart from others, what drags me down, what I can’t seem to escape.
It’s probably not enough just to wax eloquent about these problems or rage against their life-ruining powers. Cursing may feel good, but the problems will still be there when my yelling dies down.
A better approach may be to take action, however small the steps. When it comes to cursed binds, I can starve them of power; avoid or cut them off; shame them by name or isolate them. A first step: Admitting that I’m bound, tied down, trapped or captured. Another: Asking and praying for help.
I’ve been bound tightly at some times in my life. Other people— supportive saints—helped me discard, throw off or loosen binding attitudes and habits. These folks helped me let go of self-imposed bonds and hindrances. They taught me when/how to flee and when/how to fight. They encouraged me never to give up.
The hymn that gathers these thoughts into song probably hasn’t been written, but perhaps it should be.
Perhaps when I’m less bound, I’ll write it….
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