Friday 15 March

 25But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing.

A “law of liberty” is a curious concept.

I grew up as part of a generation that chafed against the idea of “law.” We wanted to be free spirits. We believed we should be able to do whatever we wanted without suffering adverse consequences. We wanted to follow our own bliss and if it felt good, no one should impose their outmoded morality on our freedom to choose.

Life does not work that way. There are certain conditions that govern human conduct whether I like it or not. If I climb out my office window and jump from the roof, whether or not I approve of it, the law of gravity will work. I will fall to the ground and be seriously injured.

But the laws that govern life are not merely physical. There are other inner spiritual laws that shape the human condition.

I always run into trouble when I choose to live a selfish, self-centred life. When I put my wants, needs, and desires ahead of any other concern, I am always headed for disaster. When I allow my life to be driven by my agenda alone, I always create violence and pain. This is not pinched moralism; it is simply a description of the way life works.

Life works better when I align myself with the power of love. Gentleness, honesty, mutual respect, kindness, and compassion make for better human community. I may wish it were different, but this is just the way things are.

The “law of liberty” means I live more freely, and more authentically when I live in line with the realities of life as they are. I am diminished when I choose to go my own way and hope there are no adverse consequences.

Freedom is not the freedom to do anything I feel like doing. Freedom is the ability to align myself with the realities of life and to live in harmony with the design of creation. My range of choices may be more limited or expansive than yours. But, within the parameters of our circumstances, we are all free to choose to cooperate with life or to work against the realities within which we live.