Freedom is the essence of living

Salvation Army Captain Jim Vanderheyden speaks of the choices we humans made

I can smell spring in the air and I look for other signs such as robins and crocus plants to push up through the soil.

Each spring, I am somehow transported down memory lane to places that were filled with innocence and wonder.

I wonder how many of us remember catching butterflies and putting them in pickle jars when we were young.  I know I can and I remember how mom would explain that you could only keep them in there for so long without food or water and that eventually they would need to be set free.

You see freedom is the essence of living, like air to breathe and rest for the weary; no one can prosper without it.

We humans love freedom, for better or worse we desire the right to choose our life’s course for ourselves and we are not happy when someone or thing has power over us.

Even if that freedom eventually leads to enslavement, the consequences seem a little easier to live with when they are a result of our own choices.

Sometimes people speak of a vengeful God looking for revenge, an angry Creator bent on punishing people for the rest of their lives for mistakes and bad judgment they have made in their youth or even last week.

The truth is this is not so and the gospel (which means “good news”) tells us so.

God has all of eternity to punish the “wicked.” He isn’t using any of that up right now how or why would He? None of us have become what He is making us in to yet. Jesus said “come to me all of you who carry a heavy burden and I will give you rest.”

This sounds to me like a God who is searching for His lost, wooing them to Him, sending His comforter to all who call on Him.

Sometimes when you take the lid off the pickle jar it takes awhile for the butterfly to leave but choices that are made while looking heavenward are choices made with a clear mind and heart.

Jim VanderHeyden is a captain with the Salvation Army in Quesnel.