How long does it take to regain freedom? Eight days, thirty days, ninety days, five years? When it comes to regaining our freedom, we need to do more than just successfully jump through a set of hoops for a duration of time. We need to respond to God’s grace and reorient our lives towards him. Think of a man who struggles with alcoholism. After giving up alcohol and faithfully attending ninety Alcoholics Anonymous meetings in ninety days, will he be free to return to an empty house stocked with liquor? Unlikely. There is more to recovery and more to freedom than that.
We must reorient our life towards Jesus Christ, the source of our fulfilment and freedom. Regardless of what you struggle with, these 90 days are a time to reorient your life by changing unhealthy patterns. Who do you spend your time with? Where do you go in times of stress? What do you turn to in periods of perceived boredom? Whatever it is that enslaves us, we will gain greater freedom only if we change our hearts, minds, and the overall pattern of our lives, and center them on Christ.
In his book Your Brain on Porn, Professor Gary Wilson notes that individuals trying to “reboot” their brains in order to achieve freedom from their addiction to pornography try to go three months without looking at pornographic images. Men with serious addiction symptoms sometimes need a far longer period to achieve freedom. For them, eight days is not enough, thirty days is not enough; ninety days is a very strong start, but still not enough for true and lasting freedom.
Be of good hope. The heart of this period of ninety days is a roadmap to freedom that will provide you with the means to give your life to God anew and allow him to reorient it. Christ’s roadmap of prayer, asceticism, and fraternity, emphasized in Exodus 90, disposes us to receive the graces we need to obtain the freedom God made us for.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1).
During these ninety days, you will encounter our Lord in a new way. You will learn Christ’s roadmap to freedom. And if you allow God’s grace to work, you will experience the reorientation of your life to that which matters most. These ninety days have the ability to serve as a meaningful start to the rest of your life.