Joan Baez, put it simple and straight when she said, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Nothing ain’t worth nothing, but at least it’s free.”
There’s truth to it. Our stuff, our activities and our worries keep us trapped. They make it impossible for us to do things that are truly meaningful.
Henry David Thoreau was right that our possessions own us.
These two creative geniuses are echoing an idea that’s centuries old and dates back to the monks and the mystics of the Middle Ages. They understood this too, and gave up their wealth and possessions to find the time and freedom to seek deep union with God.
I’m convinced that when the rich young ruler approached our Lord and asked him what he should do, our Lord told him to sell all he had and give it to the poor. I don’t believe he told him this just for the sake of the poor. I think he also meant the rich young ruler to sell all he had for his own sake as well. The things he could do after selling all his riches and giving them to the poor are greater than the things he could do by laboring to keep his riches.
The truth is, wherever freedom is found, you may not be able to take all your things along with you if you mean to go there.