Saturday, September 3, 2011

Freedom or Knot?

Downton Abbey is a mini series that I just recently stumbled across.  I couldn’t possible explain the show better than KGF Vissers who wrote this storyline:
Lord Crowley sees his family heritage, especially the grand country home Downton Abbey, as his mission in life. The death of his heir aboard the Titanic means distant cousin Matthew Crawley, a Manchester lawyer, suddenly is next in line and accepts moving onto the vast estate with his even more modernist, socially engaged mother, who clashes with his lordship's domineering, conservative ma the dowager. Marrying off the daughters is another concern. Meanwhile the butler presides over a staff which serves the family but also lead most of their entire lives in the servants’ quarters, intriguing amongst themselves.

I think it’s fascinating to see how people lived in different times. based in the 1900’s, this show got me thinking about life and all the choices and decisions that make or break us. As a culture we seem to gain more and more freedoms every day. I don’t know much about political issues (though I probably should take some more interest than I have) I do know from history that the more freedom we seem to win for ourselves the more troubles arise. It’s like someone gave us a short rope to start off with and we became unhappy with our length of rope convincing ourselves that if we only had a little more rope we could do so much more. So we pleaded our case and were granted a bit more rope. However, after time and the unwavering truth that man is never satisfied, our ropes have become so long that they just seem to tie us up. We have such a long rope we hardly know what to do with it all. And so it seems to be true with our never ending choices; schools, work, marriage, children, food, cars, banking, even religious beliefs, which can send us spinning out of control and tie us up in knots. 

I bring up freedoms because back in the early 1900’s women didn’t have a vote. We were basically told what we would be or do by our fathers or husbands or Lords or Masters. The show portrays a young woman who is the daughter of a Lord. The Lord can only leave his estate to a male heir. Unfortunately the daughter must sit back and watch as her 3rd cousin who is a male move in on her father’s heritage or she could decide to marry her 3rd cousin and inherit her father’s estate through marriage. She is so distraught with the ordeal because she is a very stubborn woman. She has two choices but both have to end in her being married to someone. I look at that and think how wonderful it would be to only have two choices. But then, would those women of the 1900's look at me and ask what do I know because I am free and I can live anyway I choose?

What about our children? Is it important that we tell our children that they can be whatever they want to be when they grow up? That can be very overwhelming to a child. I don’t know about you but my husband and I go rounds over what we should have for dinner some nights. If I just plan something and serve it without asking his thoughts he tends to be content with the option I have chosen. How does a child decide on one career and determine to pursue it for the rest of his/her life? This is a big world we live in and a lot can happen in the course of a life. How does anyone know what is the best choice? 

Man has always been greedy and discontented with his life. It started way back in the garden when Adam and Eve became discontent with there heavenly surroundings and chose to turn away from their creator and do things their own way. We are never satisfied!  Hebrews chapter 13 verse 5 through verse 6 says; “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. So we may boldly say: The Lord is my helper I will not fear. What can man do to me?” The fact of the matter is we never want what we have and we always want what we don’t have or can’t have.

 I look back at the women of the early 1900’s with awe and respect for how they had to live under such submission to authorities. I think some of the bravest women are the ones who courageously and joyfully accept their lot in life.  I look at women now with all our freedom and choices and wonder did we really get a longer rope in which to enrich our lives or have we just entangled ourselves?

I could go on and on about other thoughts that were stirred up by this show but I think I’ll leave it at that for now. I hope that you aren’t offended by my wild thoughts but that you were provoked to ask yourself if you are content with your life and if you are not, should you be?