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Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
2 Corinthians 3:17 (NIVUK)

My children run everywhere. It doesn’t matter if they’re in a hurry or not, if they want to get somewhere, they run. And back. And often multiple times. This became even more apparent on a recent trip to South Africa where space to run is as freely available as the clean, fresh vineyard air we breathed (as Madeleine is pictured doing in a photo from 2018).

This morning I was contemplating why kids run so much as Ruben were racing from the living room to the kitchen with an unprompted shriek of some sort. I realised it’s more than likely merely because they can. They are smaller. They have shorter legs. They can get to full tilt without running out of space… usually… They have the freedom and capacity to run and move unhindered. A freedom, I fear, I have lost. I have gotten to a point where I would only run somewhere if something big and dangerous is chasing me. And only if it is chasing me specifically. It’s sad, but it is true.

What can be even more sad if it is true is that we lose the freedom of spirit that fuelled the freedom to run everywhere when we were younger. I look at my kids and see in them that same freedom of spirit and I pray they never lose it. God forbid I do something to make them lose it!

Paul encourages the Corinthian church that they too can have freedom, regardless of their circumstances. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. Freedom is such a beautiful gift.

My grandmother was a very strict woman. My sister and I used to stay with my grandparents while my parents were at work. We could play outside as much as we wanted, but indoors were a different story altogether. There was a specific room we were very rarely allowed to enter: the sitting room. It was reserved for important guests only (like the vicar on a house visit) and as such was kept in immaculate condition. I think the carpet saw the vacuum cleaner more than actual people… What a shame that such a beautiful room should be kept behind lock and key.

I suspect we do the same with the beautiful gift of freedom we have been given. It’s so prescious that we tend to guard it with all our might, rather than use it to God’s glory.

My prayer for my kids and for all of us is that we will embrace the gift of freedom the Spirit of the Lord gives us, but not hold on to it so tightly that we don’t use it in all we do.

Father, thank you for your gift of freedom. May I receive it with gratitude and use it to the glory of your name alone. Amen.

Nico Marais, 29/11/2021