Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Free Spirit

"You're such a rule-follower!" His frustration over my not doing what he wanted me to do spilled over and out into the ER hallway. He wanted things done his way, and he wanted them done NOW!

My Dad, devoted Christian that he is, has never been one for following rules he considers unreasonable. He chuckles when he tells the stories of being busted from Sergeant to private, not once but several times, during WWII. On some occasions he was right, but on others he was willfully wrong. After all, why not take off for a couple of days and see Paris. Who knows when you might ever get another chance. He caught back up with his division, didn't he?

I am my father's daughter in many ways, but this isn't one of them. There is a mysterious something programed into my DNA that won't let me be a blatant rule-breaker. Not that I never broke the rules, mind you. I just made sure no one was looking. I never wanted to stand out in the crowd - in any way.

The ironic thing is, I have always longed to be a "free spirit." When I was a teenager, it was the non-conformists I admired. We were right on the cusp of the sixties, and everything was changing. I didn't want to be a hippie. I just longed to be able to soar free.

There were days I set aside my usual outfit of coordinated skirt and top and tried something new. Something a bit more "out there." But I never made it out the door without changing right back into my usual, comfortable, safe attire. Somehow, I couldn't bear to think I might be the center of attention. Even into adulthood, I carried the dream of being my own individual self - set apart from the "common hoard." You know - "free to be me."

One day I heard that gentle voice: "I have set you free."

And I saw. Saw the irony of the way the non-conformists I so admired were also conforming to some perceived ideal. Saw that all along, I was the one who was free - in the truest sense of the word. Jesus had set me free when He bent to the will of His Father and turned everything upside-down.

I am free from guilt and fear. I am free to live with hope in the face of the darkest storm. I am free to find joy in the midst of suffering, free to serve and love others and find I am blessed beyond measure. I am free to be all He created me to be - unique and gifted. I am free to lose my life in Him and find fulfillment the world could never offer. My heart is free to soar with Him.

"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."
  John 8:36