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Complete independence is an impossible condition for every entity in the universe except one. As far as we know, if you are a human being reading this reflections, then you belong to the most advanced and powerful creaturely species on the planet, but despite that you are wholly unable to achieve complete independence. In fact, whatever independence you appear to have is dependent upon a variety of factors well beyond your control, and all of those factors are dependent upon the one entity in the entire universe who is actually independent: God. As examples of this point, consider these forms of independence that you might believe you have. You might believe that you have freedom of movement across the ground upon which you walk, but you are, in fact, dependent upon gravity’s grip on your feet for that freedom to have any meaning. Further, you are also dependent upon the friction that exists between your feet and the ground in order for you to effectively walk anywhere without sliding constantly in whatever direction gravity chooses to move you. You might believe that you have freedom to speak and spread your ideas, but such freedom of speech is dependent upon a mind that can generate an idea, a mouth that can project it, and the ears of others who are willing to hear it. If you live in a country where freedom of speech is not a protected ideal, then you may depend upon the whims of its ruling powers if you wish to speak your mind.

You only have the appearance of independence. In truth, you were never made to be independent. Instead, you were made to be in a kind of relationship with God in which you depend upon his divine goodness to sustain you in his creation, and to guide your movement through it. When you reject that relationship you become not only dependent upon sin, but also a slave to it. Dependency upon God offers you freedom in the same way that dependency upon gravity allows you efficient passage across all of the planet’s physical domains. Rejection of it offers you chains, and darkness, and blindness to a self-destructive slavery that you cannot escape with your own talents or power because you are chained to yourself, and to your own selfish desires.

The most independent state you can be in is one in which you are independent of sin, and depend upon God. In that state, you can soar as if you are on the wings of eagles (Isaiah 40:31).

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