It's not just a breakout from a prisoner-of-war camp. Or a high-speed motorcycle chase in a daring attempt to reach freedom, as in the movies. The great escape we're speaking of takes place on a more fundamental level, from a bondage of a more pernicious nature. It's the bondage of sin and sensualism.
Bondage? Definitely. Sin - and by that we mean jealousy, rage, lust, and other such qualities that don't originate with God - tries to sell itself as an inborn part of man's nature. If we buy it, we're locked in together with all the grief and remorse that inevitably follow. But sin, whatever its form, is never part of our God-derived nature. It can't forever wall us in.
Our escape, our journey to freedom, is a moral and spiritual event. In a sense we're different after the escape than we were before it. Before the escape we perhaps viewed ourselves as ''of the world.'' n1 After it, as of God. The difference is huge. To be ''of the world'' is to think of ourselves merely as a material mortal with no power to hoist ourselves above the quagmire of sensualism. To be of God is to identify ourselves as His child, as His loved spiritual creation, and to realize that we have all the wholesomeness and dominion we need to triumph. In truth, each of us already is, and always has been, a child of God. As such, we're free already. But this is something we have to accept - prove by the way we live - in order for it to appear humanly.
n1 See I John 2:16.
The way to do this is most vividly illustrated in the works and teachings of Christ Jesus. They provide a path we can follow in our journey to freedom. ''Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin,'' he said frankly. But he also said, ''Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.'' n2 Free from sin, free from rage or anything else ungodlike. It's a matter of knowing we have a loving Father, God; knowing, feeling, that we're His unwarped children, and then living in a way that proves this to be true.
n2 John 8:34, 32.
Jesus brought people out of bondage who saw themselves as ''of the world,'' of all that culminates in grief, remorse, self-destructiveness. He shared the clear view that man is a child of God, that he has dominion. It's a view that had a transforming, healing effect then, and still does today.
The Gospel of Luke relates a wonderful healing of a man possessed by devils. He lived not in a house but in the tombs, and wore no clothes. Perhaps he was tormented by some overwhelming sin. Jesus faced the man fearlessly. He saw the ''devils'' for what they were - something totally apart from the man's true selfhood - and he cast them out. Then the man was found ''sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind.'' n3
n3 Luke 8:35.
The Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, Mary Baker Eddy, writes: ''Christian Science raises the standard of liberty and cries: 'Follow me! Escape from the bondage of sickness, sin, and death!' Jesus marked out the way. Citizens of the world, accept the 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free! This is your divine right.'' n4
N4 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 227.
Even if we've been viewing ourselves as ''of the world,'' we can still make the move that makes the difference, that proves us to be children of God. We can accept the '' 'glorious liberty of the children of God,' and be free!'' Not a warped viewpoint or sin, but dominion and wholesomeness, are rightfully ours. We find them as we escape from sin through the realization that it was never a part of our actual, God created being. We have the qualities we need, the path to follow, the call to action. Our only job is to answer the call. DAILY BIBLE VERSE Awake to righteousness and sin not. I Corinthians 15:34m