In case you didn’t catch the reference, the title of this post refers to a song by a rap artist named “Webbie.” In his song titled “Independent” he states that he is attracted toa girl because she isn’t, what one would refer to as, a “gold digger” because she works or something. (I do not endorse the lyrics of the song or find the song appropriate I am using them to make a point.) The girl in the song is independent by the worlds standards.
In the movie The Avengers, there was a moment that I found quite profound. In the midst of all of this fun action, there was a moment of truth that, surprisingly, came from the antagonist, Loki. He states: “Kneel before me. I said… kneel! Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity that you crave subjugation. The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power. For identity. You were made to be ruled. In the end, you will always kneel.” Loki is demanding for those he is trying to conquer to give up their independence and free will and to be ruled. We see this in the way that we view public office, often treating public officials like royalty or have the assumption that they alone will bring the country in the direction that you desire it to go.
There is this great lie in our society that one is able to be truly “independent” or a “non-conformist”. There is an innate desire in every person to lose their identity to something bigger than themselves. We simple choose what to conform to and what not to conform to. The few party situations that I have been too I have experienced the idea of “losing myself to the party” and “just feeling the music”. It is a distorted image of giving up your identity to something “good” but in this false goodness shame and desolation are the only “gifts” we have. We try and prove our independence with our careers and labels and things that, in relation to eternity, do not matter.
In reciprocal, a religious binds himself to rules and to ritual to stave off the sin in his life. As Loki states, free will blinds us to what truly brings us happiness: falling on our knees in adoration. The difference of course between Loki, who was going to unlovingly force his almost-subjects to conform to his will, our God loves us so much that for a human to even attempt to be whole he must set aside all the things of this world and strive for goodness. When we strive for goodness we can truly find our identity: we exist as God intended us to exist, totally dependent on Him.
One of my favorite examples of this is the example of a newborn baby. When I hold a newborn baby in my hands, the phrase “I could eat you up” comes to mind. We see the baby for who he or she is: a divine creation whose infinite beauty points us to eternity. A baby exists in one of the most perfect ways our souls should rely on the Lord. A newborn baby is just that: a newborn baby. The child has not developed a personality, the child is happy upon sight of those who give him or her life, the child is truly free to live in the love of his or her parents.
To truly find purpose and meaning in our lives is to give up on sin. In fact we are called to violently give up on sin for there is nothing there for us. There is no hope in sin, there is only despair. To truly find our identity is to give up our free will and the semblance of an identity that we have made for ourselves to our sweet Jesus. True joy is found not in worrying, but in being totally dependent on Jesus.
So abandon sin! We ask so little of a God that offers us infinite joy in a tiny piece of, what appears to be, bread. Pretty awesome that God would pursue our depenence in such a humble way. Gladly, in the end, I desire to be ruled. In the end, I will kneel. Viva Cristo Rey.
Thanks and Gig’em,