Ed Greer hated his job. In the early 1980’s he had a white-collar position with Hughes Aircraft in El Segundo, California, but he still felt miserable. Feeling additional pressure from his wife and father, Ed decided he had had enough. On September 10, 1981, he disappeared. Without a word of explanation to his family or employer, he flew to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where he worked as a boat mechanic. Later he assumed another person’s identity and moved to Houston, Texas, to work at an oil exploration firm.
Seven years later, the FBI caught up with Ed. His excuse for leaving? “I felt trapped. I didn’t like my life.” Ed felt so encumbered by his structured life that he took his pursuit of freedom to extremes. He did whatever he thought would help him break free, even at the expense of his family and occupation.
Those who turn to religion to fill the void within their souls will find themselves in a similarly empty quest for freedom. Organized religion ties us down to a set of man-made guidelines for meriting favor with God. This is not God’s intent. He wants us to have true freedom, which comes only through His Son, Jesus. When we put our trust in Him and not religion, we receive salvation — and the freedom to serve God without fear of losing His free gift. It is grace which transforms the submission of our lives to His commands into a pleasure, rather than a burden.
Perhaps you have already put your trust in Christ, but you still feel miserable because of the pressures in your life. The daily grind of work, family, and financial concerns has taken a toll on you, and you are looking for a way out. Before you quit, honestly assess the motivation behind your service to Christ. If love and gratitude are not on your list of reasons for serving Him, then you will soon burn out. Once your motivation changes, you will find that you have renewed strength for the task. Work will never be a chore again.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.
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