I once had a hamster named Monkey.
Come to think of it, his father's name was Bear (we were a multi-generational hamster family). I suppose we can all forgive him for having a bit of an identity crisis.
He wasn't the best at hamstering. He would spend most nights doing one of three things:
1. Climbing across the top of his wire cage like they were monkey bars,
2. Running in circles around his dish (he was too good for the hamster wheel), or
3. Chewing at the door to his cage for hours on end.
Logic would seem to imply that Monkey wanted out. Monkey wanted to be free.
And one magical night, it happened. By some divine providence, Monkey's imprisonment was ended, and he crawled free of his lifelong cage.
I remember waking up late one night to discover his newfound freedom. His wire door thrown open, his cedar shavings un-slept in, his cage empty. Monkey was free!
I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye, heard a scuffling sound on the floor and went to investigate. When I turned on the light, I couldn't believe my eyes. There was Monkey on the floor of my bedroom, running around and around, in those same circles he always did. Just like when he was still in his cage.
Just like when he was still in his cage.
His situation had changed drastically. His actions, his way of life, his mindset had not. Granted, he was a hamster. Not the brightest of creatures. I think one of the Kowalski kids had dropped him as a pup. Monkey had some good excuses.
But what about me? What was my excuse?
Like Monkey, I was born into captivity, a slave to sin. No matter the rituals I followed, how hard I tried to free myself, I was powerless to escape my cage. Then one night, by some divine providence, my imprisonment was ended! My debt was paid, my chains were broken. I was free!
But I picked up my broken chains, draped them over my shoulders, and set off on my way, singing:
"Someday, I will stand up straight...when this weight is off my shoulders."
Walking in the same circles I always did.
Just like I was still in my cage.
Galatians 5:1 "It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery."
John 8:36 "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed"
Being free and walking in that freedom are two very different things, as both Monkey and I learned well.
The point of the song Someday is a journey to an "Aha! moment". In that journey I am longing for a someday to come when I will finally be free. When I can drop the weight of my chains, lift my head and walk freely.
"Oh, when Someday comes..."
Looking forward to a day that came long ago.
I was a free man, but I had submitted myself again to a yoke of slavery. To perform, to earn; feeling guilty for falling short time and time again. I forged new links to add to my chains.
But that "Aha! moment" finally arrived. I was already free by the redeeming work of Jesus Christ. Everything there was to do, He has already done. It was finished. And the reality struck me:
"I hold these chains...they're not holding me!"
My Someday is here.
So "let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us" Hebrews 12:1