Who we are sometimes changes depending upon where we are. Let me explain. The other night I was watching a movie about a Roman soldier in Britannia and his slave boy, Esca, from the North. Marcus was the confident, perhaps even arrogant, slave owner. But when a mission crossed them over Hadrian’s Wall into enemy territory…the homeland of the slave boy…things changed. When found by a rival tribe, the slave boy became the slave owner. The slave owner became the slave. But through everything, the slave boy’s loyalty remained pure and true to his owner. At that point, he could’ve run away. But he didn’t.
While Esca was in Roman Britannia, he was a slave. There wasn’t a question, there wasn’t an option, it was who he was. While in difficult times, I easily remember that I am a slave of Jesus Christ. I don’t question it, but cry out to Him for wisdom, for grace, for mercy. I find comfort in being a slave…of knowing my future lies in the hands of my Slave Owner.
While Esca was in his homeland, he had an option. He could have chosen to be the leader, the slave owner, or, at the very least, he could have chosen to be free. I would like to put forth here that his homeland is a little like our everyday, modern America.
Most of us make a choice on whether or not we will be Christ’s slave each day. We have that choice because we are well-fed and clothed, with homes full of stuff. Many of us are surrounded by family and friends who love us. The resources in this country seem unlimited. We have everything we could ever need and many of us have forged a path towards living out our dreams. But what all this does is put us in charge. Because we don’t really need God. We can live our daily lives, call ourselves Christians, and have days go by without ever giving thought to God’s will for us. We aren’t praying for wisdom or direction…but we are praying like we are the slave owner…”Lord, give me this” or “Lord, I really need that.”
As I write this, I see this tendency in my own life. The natural bent towards wanting to run “me”, instead of submitting to the will of my Heavenly Father. May we, instead, be like Esca–making the choice to be a slave each and every day. May we remain loyal to our Slave Owner, even in a land where we have the option to make a choice.