“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”– Galatians 5:1
A few days ago the young neighbor boys down my street were playing outside, and I watched with curiosity as they began to lug large empty cardboard boxes into the street toward their red wagon.
They hefted a particularly large box onto the wagon, setting it askew in the center, flaps open on each end. Then the older boy grabbed the handle of the wagon and pulled it toward his bike, and began to tie a rope to the back of the bike. His little brothers kneeled down beside him on the street, and I watched as three heads bunched together to attach the wagon. A few minutes later, they were whizzing down the street, the wagon bounding after the bike, as eager legs pumped the bike pedals.
Next, the boys decided someone should ride inside the cardboard box, sitting askew in the wagon, pulled by the bike. They pulled the flaps shut, while inside the box, peeping out as needed. To me, this was getting interesting.
I put out of mind a potential trip to the emergency room, as I watched the boys detach the bike from the wagon. The box was flattened in the wagon and the smallest boy sat on it, flaps hanging off to the sides. His brother grabbed the wagon handle and ran wildly down the street pulling the wagon behind him, and he screeched with delight and grabbed the flaps, yanking them up and down, pretending to fly. They whizzed down the road and out of my sight. Eventually, I heard a parent’s voice (who probably had visions of ER too), and then it became quiet, the box-riding was abandoned, and the boys went off to find something else to do.
I so enjoyed watching their antics, as it reminded me what childhood is all about: finding objects, playing together, testing situations and space, and just being free to be who they were: small boys with imagination! No more, no less.
God invites us into the same freedom: to be who we are. Though we struggle as sinful humans, Jesus died for us and rose from the dead, defeating both sin and death. Defeating all that holds us back from being who we are: God’s beloved children.
So we are free to play and run, free to use our imaginations, free to talk to our loving Father, and free to be in relationship with God and one another. Let’s take up that freedom that we are given through grace, and be like small children today and every day!
Prayer-“Gracious God, Christ died to set me free, to be your child. Work through me to discover the wonder of what that means, and to hold fast to your promises. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”