free

Freedom.

We all celebrated it this weekend. We all exercised it today.

I went on a long walk on Sunday morning. Like 4 miles.

I saw a handful of people. All of them had skin that was a different shade than mine. I waved.

I smiled. Breathed. America. Freedom. Texas.

As you know, I've been trying to get back in the groove of daily exercise. It's hard with small children. I can always use them as an excuse--but, I have to ask myself, "What's REALLY keeping me from doing the thing or things I want to do?"

I walk . . .

I reach out and touch a bush. I choose which path to take. Which song to listen to on my playlist. I chose whether to walk or run. It's freedom. My free will to choose.

Why then, don't I choose what I want?

Why do I keep doing things I tell myself don't want to do anymore?

Why don't I just simply DO the thing I want?

I am not bound. No one is preventing me from doing the things I want. . . . .

Except me.

I am free. So, why the struggle?

During my walk on Sunday, I also listened to the Daily Audio Bible. It a free app you can put on your phone and listen to this guy with a soothing voice read the Bible.

It was from Chronicles. Boring. The loooooong list of names, the descendants of God's chosen lineage being read. But, I couldn't stop listening to his voice. He read, "The sons of Issac: Esau and Israel."

Israel. Do you know that story?

Well, back in Genesis, Esau and Jacob were Issac's sons. Long story short, after Jacob steals Esau's birthright and marries Leah and Rachel and has the dream about the ladder going up to heaven and he has some kids and his father in law kicks him out and he rekindles his relationship with his brother Esau, he has a WWF wrestling match with God. He prevailed. That's a VERY loose paraphrase folks.

After the wrestling match God asks Jacob his name. (But, God already knows. Right? Silly God.)

"And he said, Jacob." Then God said,"Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed." Genesis 32:27-28

What struck me was when the reader read the list of names from Chronicles, he said the sons of Issac were Esau and Israel. Not Jacob.

Listed in this genealogical account the author of the book of Chronicles specifically wrote Jacob's new name. Given to him by God.

What in the world does this have to do with exercise and freedom???

A whole lot.

You see, when we are born into this world, God gives our parents the privilege to give us our names. Yet, God already knows. He has written our names down.

Elizabeth. Vlad. Sofia. Matthew. Livia. Bernardo. Zhang Li. Steve. Margaret. Jose. Stella. Rick. Taifa. Hope.

What happens when we meet God? 

When we believe--He changes our names.

Our names are then rewritten in his huge book of LIFE. They take on new meaning. New purpose.

We become free at that moment. Really free.

Many of us are free, yet, we live as though we are slaves. 

I see that even though I am totally, completely free--I live as though I am not. I don't do what I want, because I choose not to. I am a slave to my own mind. My own thinking.

I exercise because I choose to. I walk because I choose to. I run because I choose to. I sleep in, not because I am bound--I choose to. I eat pizza with lots of ranch dressing because I choose to.

Do my choices get me what I want? Where I want to be?

Why do I live as if my name has not been changed?

Are you free?

What is your name?

 

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)

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  (1 Corinthians 3:17)