I was listening to the radio the other day, and lyrics from a song I’ve heard dozens of times suddenly jumped out at me:
“Gravity is working against me
And gravity wants to bring me down. . .
Gravity, stay the h*** away from me.”
-“Gravity,” John Mayer
I can sympathize with Mayer’s point. Who hasn’t felt this way at some time or another? Sometimes it seems that the forces of nature are against us, and in these moments, it can be tempting to wish that those forces weren’t there in the first place.
But the truth is that without gravity, we could not live life as we know it. Even if our bodies were designed to live without it, imagine how impossible it would be to develop relationships, visit favorite places, or enjoy the seasons without anything to hold us down. Though sometimes frustrating and certainly limiting, gravity enables us to experience the world around us at full potential. Its grounding force gives us constancy, without which we would be lost.
I have observed that most of the culture views morality the way Mayer sees gravity. To many, having standards to guide our decisions seems very invasive and oppressive. When speaking with college students about abortion, I’ve frequently heard comments along the lines of, “Well, I just don’t think anyone should tell women what to do with their bodies.” They view limitations as inherently bad and something that should be rejected.
As a Christian, I understand moral laws to be quite freeing. Commitment to marital fidelity allows husbands and wives to enjoy deepest intimacy without fear of being abandoned for someone better. A society that cares for the weak allows single parents and orphans to be protected. Laws that value innocent human life enable everyone to live without fear of being killed. Like gravity, morality’s boundaries permit true liberty.
Immaturity insists upon the ability to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants, with whomever it wants. But wisdom recognizes that true freedom cannot exist without limits.