On Wednesday’s, I go to our detox unit and lead a Spirituality Group. This group is not mandatory, so attendance can vary. Yesterday, I had 6 people, plus myself and another counselor.
I usually start by asking what they believe. It’s not meant to be easy. After all, how many of us can truly articulate all of what we believe. I ask them to think about what they believe about God or their higher power, what they believe about humanity, what they believe about the world, and finally, what they believe about themselves.
It may take some time, but we eventually get to some answers like, “I don’t know what I really believe in,” or “I believe in a higher power, but not necessarily God,” or “I believe that I have done some things that are unforgivable.” Yesterday I also asked the question, “Do you believe that you are redeemable?” One person asked what I meant by redeemable. So, I turned the question on them, “What do you think it means?” For this person, it meant to be saved. I opened that question up to the rest of the group. A person sitting to my right, who was being very quiet, said, “To be set free.” Stopped me dead in my tracks. That person’s four words sent us on a discussion of what it means to be set free. It was a lively and fruitful conversation!
The question I am asking now is: what are we set free for? If redemption is meant to set us free, then what are we free for? Who are we free for? What are we to do with this gift of redemptive freedom? To the people in the detox unit, it can mean that they are set free to live a better life, a second (or third or fourth) chance.
But, what does it mean for you and me? What does that freedom call us to? If it is a gift not meant to be squandered, then what the heck are we doing with it? I believe that if I want to live abundantly and deeply, then I want to make darn sure I’m using my freedom for good, for things that are more meaningful, for more love and relationship.
Think of how often you and I can be enslaved to something? To anger? To thinking small of myself or others? To trivial things? To things that really don’t matter.
We are set free for meaning, truth, life, joy, peace, and love. We are set free for being in life-giving relationships. We are set free for living authentically and with integrity. We are set free to live life to its fullest and deepest. Each and every moment we have that choice. To choose for freedom. To choose for our best self. To choose for abundant life.