The freedom to live

Published 8:33 pm Friday, January 6, 2012

By Chris Surber

Besides having a preposterously long name, which I have even here abbreviated, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a French writer of the last century, brilliantly said, “A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.”

We have all been given the breath of life and permission to live, but we don’t have to really live. He who gives us the breath of life also has granted to us permission to truly live.

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Children understand this. Naturally a child will seek, explore, learn, laugh, play, and really live the life they have been given. It comes instinctively. When a child lacks the desire born of curiosity to play, interact with, and inquire of the world around them, we grow suspicious of the healthy development of that child.

It is natural to live. It is inherent in the heart of the one living to desire to really truly live.

Somewhere along the way, it seems, many, perhaps most, of us lose that desire to the trials and hardships of this life. Our natural curiosity and zeal for life is stifled, even trampled upon, by broken relationships, disappointments and wounds that we have earned by living.

Perhaps I am but a fool and a stubborn optimist, but I am convinced that in nearly every moment lies the opportunity for childlike curiosity and zeal for truly living to be awakened.

We are all being “slowly born” into the life that God has given to us. God is gracious to you and to me. Why do so many choose to ignore the constant hand of God prying open the lid that this world has placed on our passion for living? Why do we choose to be sovereign in our own lives, when the giver of life, who reigns over all of the brokenness and sorrow, lovingly gives us grace and permission to truly live?

If it is He who forgives, why do we hide in shame, rather than run to Him to receive grace? If it is He who gives life and desires that we would have it in abundance, why not turn to Him who gives us permission to live?

Stop dreaming about life and live. The world so often pushes us around and locks up the curiosity and passion for living in boxes of rejection, heartache and sorrow. Locked in those chests are tomorrow’s realities. They are our greatest gifts.

The one who gives life desires to awaken the stranger who lives within each of us to new life. Awaken from the dream of merely existing, step into the dream that God has for you, and truly live!

Jesus says, “I have come so that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NET)


Chris Surber is pastor of Cypress Chapel Christian Church in Suffolk. Visit his website at