Five Minutes for Freedom


We just got back from Christmas at the coast. Cameron (5 ½) swam in the waves – really swam – for the first time. As in, he surfed right up to the beach and laughed into wet sand with waves thumping him low. And he waded far out and dived under the swell where it’s deep and quiet and you can somersault through salt far below sun and bubble and froth and holiday shrieks.

I think, for me, that’s what this year is going to be about. Diving through waves. Under the swell. Against the current.

Into the salt of truth.

For the last few years, I haven’t done the new-year’s-resolution thing. I’ve chosen a theme – or a couple of themes – for each year. The themes become the broad ideas that govern my year and permeate the mundane and the magnificent and so kind of take care of the resolutions. My themes have been things like gentleness. Simplicity. Zest. Wisdom. Love. Potential. Forgiveness. Contentment. Last year (you may or may not have noticed) my theme was thanksgiving.

This year, my theme is obedience.

Obedience as the goal. Obedience as the end result. Obedience as equal to the tick of success. Not the means to an end or a blessing or recognition.

Obedience means I need to dive into truth – the salt that heals and preserves and flavours and sometimes stings. And I need the courage to act on it – to swim lower and deeper against rising tides. Not because it’s going to grow my platform but because what else is worth it? And if Jesus used a dozen guys – without twitter – who were obedient to the tug of truth and courage to change the world, he can do it through you and me, too, not so?

So obedience is the courage to live into what is true – and the truth, Jesus says, will set you free. And freedom – soul freedom – grows us younger inside. Which is counterintuitive and counter-culture because how is daily renewal even possible? But this is the thing that sets apart those with life in Christ. ‘The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day.’ (Proverbs 4:18)

I’ve thought and prayed and read. I’ve chatted to older wiser people in coffee shops and listened to younger wiser people on jungle gyms. And I am convinced that part of my obedience this year is to write.

Like, really write.

Last year, in a nutshell, was a year of figuring out that this year I really, really want to write. (duh.) I have this book idea, which I’ve started working on, and it feels big and scary and I have days when I’m confident and expectant and days when I think I’m kidding myself and I should quit before I look any stupider.

But I know that not to write would be to disobey. Which is a fearsome thing to face.

So I’ve gathered a small team of people to pray and to cheer and to help me remember that every time I say no to (sometimes lucrative but still distracting) opportunities I’m saying a better yes to the things I feel uniquely called to do. Also, I need to live life if I’m going to write about it, which makes me so grateful for community.

I’m committing to the usual Monday morning post at 8h00 (GMT+2), sharing whatever shape obedience will take over the weeks of 2014. Five Minutes for Freedom – that’s what I’m calling the series. Because it won’t take you longer than that to read a post, and sometimes five minutes of intentional thought punctuated by a small decision is all it takes to change the landscape of a day.

Are you scared? Hopeful? What does obedience look like for you this year? Feel free to leave a comment. You don’t have to swim alone.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. #5minutes4freedom: Go back | Grow young inside - January 6, 2014

    […] to share? What does obedience, truth and courage look like for you this week? Sign up in the sidebar to get these posts by email, or follow […]


  2. #5minutes4freedom: Be there | Grow young inside - January 13, 2014

    […] the sidebar to get these posts by email (scroll down if you’re on the mobile site), or follow #5minutes4freedom on facebook or twitter. If you’re new to GYI, I’d love to meet you. Click here to read […]


  3. #5minutes4freedom: Shopping, democracy and hope in South Africa | Grow young inside - January 20, 2014

    […] in the world you’re reading this, what do truth, courage and obedience look like in your community, or maybe just in your supermarket? I’d love to hear from you. Sign […]


  4. #5minutes4freedom: When your dog is just disgusting | Grow young inside - January 27, 2014

    […] Has obedience this week been un-pretty for you? Consider leaving a comment. And thanks for stopping by! Click here to stay in touch, or follow #5minutes4freedom on facebook or twitter.  […]


  5. #5minutes4freedom: Learning love, community and obedience from little people | Grow young inside - February 3, 2014

    […] I’d love to hear how someone has modelled community, love and obedience for you. And thanks for reading. Click here to stay in touch, or follow  #5minutes4freedom on facebook or twitter.  […]


  6. #5minutes4freedom: How will I turn today into art? OR: Pushing back the darkness | Grow young inside - February 10, 2014

    […] And you? Are you making art this week?  Please share in the comments, or click here to stay in touch. You can also follow  #5minutes4freedom on facebook or twitter.  […]


  7. #5minutes4freedom: Because you can change the world on Valentine’s Day | Grow young inside - February 14, 2014

    […] since today is all about love the world over I’m reaching into next week and bringing Monday’s #5minutes4freedom post to the now to challenge me and to challenge you to put a different spin on falling in […]


  8. #5minutes4freedom: How to live the better life | Grow young inside - February 24, 2014

    […] excited to hear your thoughts on truth, courage and obedience. Click here to stay in touch or sign up in the sidebar to get these posts by email. You can also […]


  9. FREE eBook giveaway: The Prayer Manifesto for Moms | Grow young inside - March 3, 2014

    […] I’m super excited to get your feedback on The Prayer Manifesto for Moms. Consider signing up to receive these posts by email or click here to stay in touch. You can also follow #5minutes4freedom on facebook or twitter.  […]


  10. #5minutes4freedom: Worship, she wrote. [A story] | Grow young inside - March 10, 2014

    […] so much for stopping by. What’s your obedience story? Mail me, or leave a comment? And consider signing up to receive these posts by email. You […]


  11. #5minutes4freedom: The spectacular glory of the hidden life | Grow young inside - March 17, 2014

    […] I think again about how obedience – our highest worship – happens in the hidden heart where pretension is laid low and only God […]


  12. #5minutes4freedom: When you need a way out | Grow young inside - March 24, 2014

    […] if you’re new here, this year’s series is about obedience – our highest worship  – and how it takes truth and courage to live the yes life. Because what […]


  13. The truth about contentment, consistency and community | Grow young inside - March 31, 2014

    […] (community) is a person – another with – Emmanuel – God with us. Maybe it’s in active obedience to him – not passive complacency in me – that I’ll find deep fellowship and true change and […]


  14. #5minutes4freedom: In which my son turns six and I count tears in my bottle | Grow young inside - April 7, 2014

    […] Apparently tears are all different. Like, onion-peeling tears don’t contain all the protein-based hormones of Bambi’s-mom-got-shot tears. And I’m wondering what place tears have in this journey of worship and obedience. […]


  15. #5minutes4freedom: Of kindness, courage and kicking butt | Grow young inside - April 14, 2014

    […] can follow #5minutes4freedom on facebook or twitter or sign up to receive these posts by email. And if you know a mom who […]


  16. #5minutes4freedom: Easter obedience: joy, strength and keeping it light | Grow young inside - April 21, 2014

    […] start translating it into weak – overwhelmed – threatened – disappointed me. Hear and obey: Rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4). Because to rejoice is to be made […]


  17. #5minutes4freedom: In which the days feel long but the years are so short | Grow young inside - April 28, 2014

    […] tides. And even though four plane tickets could have bought groceries for three months sometimes obedience looks kind of irresponsible because this is the stuff of […]


  18. #5minutes4freedom: One way to love your husband better | Grow young inside - May 5, 2014

    […] Fish published it as part of a marriage series in February last year, and it sits comfortably in this year’s series on buying freedom with […]


  19. Because they’re reading the story you’re living | Grow young inside - May 12, 2014

    […] so much for stopping by. You can follow the #5minutes4freedom series on facebook or twitter, or sign up to get these posts by email. And if you know a mom […]


  20. How to be a hero OR: Bible Barbie doesn’t exist | Grow young inside - May 19, 2014

    […] of my obedience journey this year is to pray for my single friends. Not because married means arrived or complete. […]


  21. When you can’t see what God is doing in the dark | Grow young inside - May 26, 2014

    […] see anything but the next thing. The real thing. The courageous thing you’re called to. The obedient thing. The thing that – if you keep an eye on it – grows round with […]


  22. Make it sing OR: Advice to a friend turning 30 | Grow young inside - June 2, 2014

    […] a friend asked me for some thoughts because she’s turning 30 this month. This Monday’s five minutes is dedicated to […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: