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Thursday, 19 February 2015


Dog walking today. My friend was here with her dog; I of course knew a suitable walk, which I hadn’t done with a four-legged friend for six months or more. So off we went.

Maya is a puppy, a great big bear of a cuddly giggle, a totally different personality from either of the dogs I’ve owned and walked here. She bounced and bounded a few feet and then checked out where ‘mum’ was, to make sure she was still there. Both Dusty and Magic were explorers, more than happy to run ahead and then reach that distance where they seemed to rocket into hyperspace and Dusty would then disappear into the woods for up to ten hours, returning when exhausted, tail between her legs to show contrition but a bit of a wag to confirm that yes, it had been fab.

Freedom. Maya is content to have her freedom limited by maintaining proximity to her owner. She will grow up and bloom and blossom in that dependent relationship and sense a safety and a freedom in it. My two dogs longed to run and run and run, oblivious to my whistles and shouts, and return when it suited them. They would come back dirty and dishevelled, often stinking of dirty ditch water, sometimes carrying ticks and thorns and developing internal worms later from the decaying carrion they may have crunched down.

Jesus said to his friends that if they remained faithful to his teaching, then they would know the truth and the truth would set them free.

It’s not always easy to remain faithful to God’s teaching. Sometimes we catch a glimpse of something which entices us away. There is a whiff of something which tantalises and tempts us to go into territory which we know is out of God’s bounds for us. His bounds are there to protect us and somehow within those bounds, we are free to become all that he has created us to be. 

When we stray from the way Jesus has set for us, in those moments of rebellion we realize that paradoxically, by striking out on our own we have forfeited our freedom. We are likely to pick up ticks and thorns and worms. Yuck.

It’s as we walk on the path, as we remain faithful to Jesus’ teaching, that the truth is revealed to us and we recognise what true freedom really is.

Jesus said I am the way and the truth and the life. Follow me. Sticking with me along the way, you will discover absolute freedom. 

The only way to test this out is just to do it.

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