Longing for freedom

We will never get it completely right. There is never a perfect system of government. We just do the best we can. And every now and then there is a mighty shove to make progress. 1848 was a year of revolution in many countries in Europe and the 1960s was a time of freedom in Africa.

Now there is a new wave touching the Arab world Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Bahrain. The people in each country sense that this is a moment they can seize to improve their way of government and so improve their lives.

Occasionally their aspirations are listened to and acted on and recently their revolutions have been velvet, orange or another colour to describe their peaceful methods and the peaceful outcome. I am not sure if Egypt has been awarded a colour though there were about 100 deaths there. But one characteristic all these movements have is that they are not planned violent liberation struggles. They are more like spontaneous heartfelt peaceful actions to show their longing for change when the time is right.

The wave affecting North Africa and the Middle East was so unexpected and sudden that the authorities were caught off guard and soon lost the initiative. As time passes and the ripples spread the authorities have had time to see the tsunami coming and have prepared. Some have responded violently. They have refused to respect the longings of their people and simply set out to crush them into submission.

But between these two extremes there is a contest raging. The human spirit never ever accepts oppression permanently. And there is something awesome, even sacred, in the effort people make to move out of their zone of daily resignation to their fate into something more worthy. The chicken hammers at the egg shell from inside and the young eagle spreads its wings. A child struggles to find out who she is and a teenager tests the boundaries of his experience. Artists give us a template of all human endeavour in their search to express themselves. And finally nations are never still in their struggle for justice and peace.

So any ruler who simply thinks he can put the lid on the desire for change is like one who would keep the chicken in its egg and the teenager in her childhood. It cannot be done. People will always reach beyond their present experience to something greater, higher. Ultimately all this searching and stretching, all this restlessness, finds its goal in God. Our world is a beautiful place but it is only the threshold of something far greater and more beautiful which no eye has seen and no ear has heard, things beyond the mind of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor 2:9). In every human heart there is an indelible longing for just that.

Post published in: Opinions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *