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The Illusion of Independence

I spent a lot of time in Chicago growing up. It was just a four-hour drive from our suburban home in St. Louis, so it made for an easy weekend getaway.

By the time I was about ten years old I knew the streets of Chicago better than any other city – including the city in which I grew up.

My two younger brothers and I started asking our parents to let us venture out on our own. I’m not sure where we planned to go but I’m guessing we wanted to get Garrett’s Popcorn or hang out at the Oak Street beach.

To our shock and delight, they let us go.

We felt so old, so mature, to be walking the streets of Chicago without adult supervision.

I didn’t find out until years later that we were absolutely under adult supervision.

My dad wanted us to learn to navigate the world. But we were ten, eight, and five. We weren’t exactly ready to fend for ourselves.

So, he followed us around the city. We were never out of his sight. We spent an entire afternoon believing ourselves to be independent.

But we were never more than about twenty feet from a loving father who was ready to protect and provide for us at a moment’s notice.

That was twenty-five years ago. I’ve walked a lot of city streets alone since then – without adult supervision.

But I’ve never once been independent.

Independence is an illusion.

We are never out of God’s sight. We are always entirely dependent upon Him. We have a loving Father that is there - ready to protect and provide for us. We may not always be aware of His presence in our lives, but He is always present.

I don’t know who you are or where you are. I do know that you’re not alone.

You never have been and you never will be.

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