I hope at the end of this it makes sense?
While talking to my wife this morning I said this to her. Can you believe we have made such a transition in our family over the past two years that we are basically living law free? She said something on the lines of...Yeah, I guess we are. I asked her if it feels pretty good and her answer was an immediate YES.
I want to share a part of our story that has gone through some big changes when it comes to this move from law to grace and on the way to harmony. Financially it feels like we are in a healthier place than ever...before kids and certainly since kids. And it's not because we are making more money. Two years ago I gave up the game of attempting to enforce a principled way of handling money on my family(worldly wisdom) that was creating much animosity between us all. I made some personal changes in how I lived with them once I felt it had been revealed to me that the way I was doing it was one of the most destructive forms of control within a family. For two years after that decision our finances spiraled out of control and we found ourselves in a tighter spot than ever and the boat was taking on water faster than I could bail it out. Believe it or not, during that time I began to feel more freedom and more peace within myself and with my family than I ever had before. The experience for everyone involved became a much better teacher then all of the years of my lecturing about financial responsibility had ever been. Everyone began to see that each person's choices affected the family as a whole either positively or in this particular situation negatively.
Two weeks ago I began to see (well, I had been seeing it for awhile) but finally accepted what I was seeing as the best option for our family and Julie agreed. We made a decision for our family based upon what was happening in the moment instead of being enslaved to something that has always been about something I have no control over...THE FUTURE. We were 11 years away from having our home paid for and I had let that goal become more important than being able to respond to what was happening today. The freedom that had begun to be a reality beginning two years ago with some radical changes in how I lived with money and my wife and daughters took another giant step forward two weeks ago. It feels like another chunk of the lie that is dumped upon us by the economic system has fallen away and my mind is a bit freer today. My family seems to feel the same.
Now some might say that going from 11 years to pay off our house to 30 is a step backwards. A lot of folks would see it that way...a few months ago I did also. Today I see this isn't about the money at all. It's about my family learning to understand that there is something at work in this world that desires to enslave them and then keep them enslaved. The economic system is a part of that and it happens through manipulation and then plays out through our choices. The past two years when seen through natural eyes looks like a mess caused by bad choices and it was. But something has been in the process of being learned and that didn't begin to happen until I removed the law and my attempts to enforce that law on the individuals that make up my family. What "good sound financial principles" could never accomplish began to be accomplished through each individual member of my family being given freedom to make the choices their desires were leading them to make. My love for them and the expression of that love is not attached to their choices anymore. When people are given their freedom to make their own choices while in an environment of grace and love, an amazing thing begins to happen. I will admit that it happens sooner with some than it does with others though, and it will more than likely be messy. What happens is the individual must learn to own the crap that is created by their choices. But when that happens freedom becomes a possibility when it never is in an environment of law. Someone submitting to law out of fear has nothing to do with freedom, that's control and they are drastically different. And in an atmosphere of law...forget about harmony and loving relationships. What it produces is at worst broken relationships and if not that, dysfunctional ones.
So today, for the first time in 21 years we have no debt except for our home and we still have a good amount of equity in it. And I have a family that is closer than ever and the relationships are healthier than ever and some wonderful lessons have been learned and it happened through personal discoveries not by someone sitting on the top demanding that everyone fall in line.
Order can be forced...harmony cannot be. Order pales in comparison to harmony. Thanks to the work of the Spirit over the past year and a good friend, the meaning of this Jacques Ellul quote has begun to make sense and something beautiful is happening.
"When stability (uniformity) is achieved, there is no more harmony."
Another change in course has taken place.