The thing we swear we will never do again is the first thing we do when we are set free. We ought to give the devil credit; he is smarter than we anticipate. He knows how to keep us addicted. Have you ever noticed how much quicker the cycle of our ugliest habit seems to spin every time we mess up? At first, the devil wants to wait to tempt us. He wants us to think we have everything under control. Only to show us we do not. That cycle continues; each temptation sooner than the last. Finally, we spiral, but we swear we will never do it again— our words nothing more than an invitation to show what fools we have become.
We sit in our cell and hate that we are locked up once again. We feel trapped despite knowing that freedom is a confession away. But the tally marks on the wall remind us that we will be here again. Sooner than we want to admit, the Judge will no longer care about our confession.
We look at those who straightened up their life and live free, and we wonder how they can turn away from their past. Freedom seems to be nothing more than a Fruit Stripes stick of gum-- never lasting as long as we desire.
I abhor those who walk in freedom while I walk in repetition. But to be honest, I loathe myself. I beat myself down. I fall into sin. The pattern repeats. I am locked up, chained to my desires. Only to be set free and struggle. Then fall. Then go on the run. Then get caught and locked up once again.
Some say the taste of freedom is so sweet that they never wanted to be who they once were. So why do I yearn to live as a criminal and reformed man? Two worlds tear my body apart as I try to understand where my consciousness will end up once I split in two. God and the devil are not fighting for my soul. There is no war. There is broken me competing to be in heaven and hell at the same time. But hell always wins.
Straddle the fence of a prison and you are still considered a prisoner, even if you are only touching the fence with your fingernail. Freedom only comes when you depart entirely from prison. So why will I not get off the fence?
We laugh at dogs leashed in a yard that sprint only to be yanked back. But I get so bitter when dogs laugh at me for doing the same thing. I might walk in the open world, but I am chained to prison. I can run for miles, but I cannot escape my chains. Because my body still touches something connected to that prison, I remain a prisoner.
I am willing to accept I am a liar. I confess to it. It is not always intentional-- that I can promise. But I am deceived by my shortcomings. I aspire to be defined by my faith, but I tend to enjoy my failures more. I look good in sheep's clothing. But the Shepherd can tell the difference.
None of us are as innocent as we proclaim to be. I am a liar. I am deceptive. And I am a victim of my own deception — another in a long list of traits that make me a fraud. But I have hope God will break my chains and teach me to fight. I have faith I will be set free.