Woke Up This Morning With My Mind Stayed On Freedom


Woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom

Woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom

Woke up this morning with my mind stayed on freedom

Hallelu, Halleu, HalleuJah


Freedom is on my mind. Everyday as I reflect upon the state of the nation and the planet for that matter, I find that my predominate question continues to be, “how can I find freedom in the midst of all of the forces that wish to oppress?”


A few days ago, as I sat in a marvelous conversation with a group of wise folks in their seventies and eighties, I delighted in the realization that we were speaking together as free people. Of course, our lives are deeply impacted by all of the challenges that come with living in this moment, but we are free in so many ways. Later that day I sat with a young woman who is caught in the throes of a very unfortunate domestic situation that has taken much of her freedom away. The contrast was startling to me. My reflection upon those two encounters led me to think again about the challenge that is involved in keeping one’s mind stayed on freedom.


Actually, this lovely song, was adapted from the African American spiritual that declares, “Woke up this morning with my mind stayed on Jesus” which was turned into a freedom song during the struggle for freedom in the sixties. How does one keep one’s mind stayed on freedom in this moment that brings so many invitations to do otherwise? Most of these invitations are enclosed in beautiful fear-based envelopes that make them quite attractive. It is that foundation of fear that continues to fuel our need for guns, insatiable appetite for violence, uncontrolled materialism, willingness to pay any price for power and all of the many other ways that we manage to stay bound.


If we wake up every morning with our minds stayed on freedom, the energy that will come to see us through the day will be quite different from the energy that is released when we are avoiding freedom. The challenge with seeking freedom is that we cannot control the path that will unfold nor the threads that must be engaged in order to allow it to come. The biggest problem lies in the fact that we must be more willing to relinquish control. I continue to be fascinated by the story of Sojourner Truth letting go of the mule lines as she sat at various crossroads in her wagon not knowing which way to go declaring, “God send me where you want me to go.” I am not sure if this is a true story or not and that does not really matter because the point is the same. We all have to let go of the “mule lines” whatever they happen to be. Some of them are about status, the need for security, concern about public opinion, concern about acceptance and on we could go with this list, but the call to freedom demands that we let go.

The old spiritual tells how to do it. Our minds have to be stayed on God. Of course, that is no small matter and much of the inability to do so has helped to lead us to the place that we find ourselves in this moment. While there is no single magic path to keeping our minds stayed on God or freedom, it is a challenging call that deserves our attention and all of the effort that we can make to try to do it. Most thoughtful people will agree that our planet needs us to refocus the lens in ways that might lead to liberation and healing. The collective current path is unsustainable. We are sitting at the crossroads and the invitation to let go waits for our reply. What will it be?


Let’s be a half shade braver.