Week Two of the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises: God’s Ongoing Creation
Creation itself will be set free
from its bondage to decay
and obtain the freedom of the
glory of the children of God.
Freedom. I think if there is anything I desire out of the spiritual journey it is True Freedom.
I am not thinking about the freedom that says I can do whatever I want. That is not actually freedom and this usually leads to bondage and various forms of addiction. This kind of ‘freedom’ leads to the destruction of relationships and ultimately ends in isolation. These kinds of behaviors lead us down the path of decay from the inside out.
“The freedom that is the glory of the children of God.”
This is a very different kind of freedom. It is the freedom to BE who God uniquely created me to BE. It is an engagement with the gifts bestowed upon me for the good of others. And interestingly enough it is living a disciplined approach to life.
It is unfortunate that discipline has taken on such a bad rap as to be viewed as something I grudgingly submit to. But it is discipline that leads us into freedom, True Spiritual Freedom.
The spiritual discipline of yoga is a wonderful example. The regular practice of yoga yields the fruit of being able to walk freely. Just look around at how people walk and you can see the struggle that they are engaged with. It is a chore to simply move a short distance from one place to another. No doubt those who are not able to walk because of a disability would count walking to be a great privilege and gift. And it is that.
The discipline of prayer is another. How sad this is viewed as something to get through and mark off in our day as something I am supposed to do. Prayer as a practice is turning away from the illusions of my ego self manifestations, and turns me toward the God who created me and leads me toward the True Self, the image of God in which I was created. Now there is a freedom to embrace.
Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” Paul wrote, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free.”
This freedom comes from letting go of the illusions of my life and embracing that which is true. This often means confessing – ah another one of those spiritual disciplines that we dread – the lies I have embraced about myself or that I tell others about myself. These are the lies that I want people to believe are true about me. I then have to live a life of sustaining these lies. This is not freedom. But when I can let go of these for the sake of what is truly True about who I am, I experience the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
All of creation will be set free from its bondage to decay. What an amazing promise of God. This I embrace for myself. I claim this freedom from decay for myself today that I may obtain the freedom that is the glory of being a child of God.
Let’s live there together!