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Play freedomA Child called freedom

Walking down a new cliff path, you turn a corner and discover a new a wonderful view. This happened to us after we had been here about 6 months. Walking for the first time from Daddy Hole Plain down to harbour. The sun beating down across the bay, the heather coming to life. It felt like we had moved to the Mediterranean.
I love to discover new things. To create, to invent, to find new places and ways of doing. There is a really joy in this. It is something that children do naturally. The freedom of play, where shall we go today, what will the adventure be. But over time things can get stuck. Children become adults and get sensible. Play is replaced with safety. The security of knowing what will come next. Which leads me on to addiction (trust me there is a link).
Addiction. So what comes to mind for you? It this something that others have an issue with? Something that you are living in or struggling with? Maybe it brings to mind some of the worst things in life? As a word, Addiction carries with it so much baggage. The reality is we experience addiction in some way, and its personal. Whether it's drugs, gambling, sex, handbags, Facebook or work, addiction can grip us all.
The experience of addiction can leave people with a label for life.  But there are other labels. So lets talk about cancer!
For someone who is battling with cancer or has had cancer there is a very clear distinction between the person and the illness. While treatment for cancer can be all consuming, cancer is not who the person is. But sometimes for people who have or are struggling with addiction, the word "addict" become the defining label. An identity from the past that crushes the present and locks up the future. Now before I say the next bit I have to put in a health warning..... What I am not about to say is that addicts who have been clean or dry for a week or a year or ten should live in pretend land and hide away from the life long struggle they may have..... But there is more to life, there is God's word on who you are.
The moment of discovery as a Christian is that Jesus really has set us free.  We have new identities in him. We are free sons and daughters of God the Father. Here the possibles wide open, there is creativity, life and full freedom to live well. But as adults we quite like safety and rules so we can choose to live as less then free. We can choose to put back on the old labels. 
Here is the balancing act. 
Are you an addict that is learning freedom? 
Or a free son or daughter of God the Father who is being transformed? 
If the primary identifier is one of addiction then you are still living under death. But Jesus wants you free, after all he has already settled the bill.
But if the primary identifier is being a free son or daughter then you can face the disease of addiction with the help and grace of God who is transforming you.
It is for freedom that you been set free. Live as a child, daily discovering the wonders of full life. The past has been paid for, the present can be lived and tomorrow is going to be a great adventure because you're a child named freedom, named by God the Father who loves you. Live free.

(If you are living with addiction, you don't need to walk alone, the team at The Living Room can connect you with people who can walk with you. Please drop in or get in touch.)

Mark Searle, 23/04/2013