At an M/s group meeting we recently attended, the topic of what sustains M/s came up. As the discussion progressed the question was raised, “How much of the dynamic is by force of the Master’s will and how much is the slave’s willing obedience?” My answer then was that my willingness has at the root, literally in the word itself and conceptually in origin, his will. As I think more about this it truly describes how I function in world. I am willing because it is his will. This is where I reside internally, a place where there is no question about whether to be obedient or not.
That said there is a gooey center to this lovely piece of emotional chocolate. There are times I find myself at odds and in an argument with Master. How can this happen? How can this be possible? How is it that in my deepest soul, I am bound under his leadership by a bond of love, respect, joy, gratefulness, and understanding and yet there are times that we fight like vanillas? I often fretted over these times of discord. Worried myself sleepless thinking, ‘Does this mean we aren’t M/s?’ or ‘Am I not really a slave?’ Over time, as I have grown in my understanding of who and what we are, I have learned there is nothing to fear. No terrible secret failure that is earth shattering or relationship ending. We are fully at all time Master and slave. That never changes. The ‘how’ is much simpler than that. We are human. As ideal as so much of our relationship is, the reality is we are still fully human.
I spent several years of my adult life in a radical Christian faith. By comparison, Pentecostals were too liberal and snake handlers weren’t strong enough in their faith. I was raised a devout atheist so when I decided to become a Christian I approached the bible as a full uncompromising reality. If there was a Christian God, then I was going to follow fully and totally everything God wrote in His book. In those years, my daily prayer always had one constant request, “God please take my free will.” This made perfect sense to me.
Theologically, I understood that God had given humans free will so that we could choose to love Him or not; that making that choice provided greater depth to the relationship between created and the divine. I understood that, but that accomplished, there seemed no further need for me to continue to have free will. That mission of accepting faith was complete, surly I could reasonably now pray for God to dispense with free will in me and allow me to always walk in the best plan He had for me. I wanted to serve God without rest, restraint, or doubt so free will needed to go. I lamented God’s apparent lack of agreement with my theory and prayed daily hoping it would one day be granted.
Years after leaving the church and faith behind, I found M/s. The call of M/s was to that very same place inside of me that had prayed for the removal of free will. Now, once again I am faced with a Master who does not agree with my theory that free will ought to go out to the curb on Tuesday. He enjoys the taste of my blood, sweat, and tears best because they are given by one who could choose to not give them but does so anyway.
Yes, I am still human, still burdened with free will. Enslaved and permanently his, but still with faults and shortcomings. M/s does not create angels; it allows him to tend me as his beloved sheep. Yes, his will is always my will unless I am off track and wandering onto a dangerous rocky ledge. He finds joy in bringing his girl back into his fold. I still hope everyday that I can buck off this damn free will, end my lack of perfect willingness. I move closer all the time and he watches over me taking pleasure in my effort.