What does freedom mean to you? As Auckland wakes this morning to life at Alert Level 2 (2.5) again I find myself thinking about freedom. It's not yet 11 am as I write this and I've already used the COVID QR tracker 3 times. Sitting here at one of my 2 favourite cafe's in the Manukau Mall I see 90%+ wearing masks. Well not at the cafe - it's hard to drink your coffee through a mask!!
Speaking of masks, as I put mine on this morning in the car and looked at myself in the mirror I was taken back 50+ years to playing cowboys and indians as a boy growing up in Otara. (Maybe it was the Star Wars mask (Star Wars is a bit like a wild wild west movie set in the future, isn't it :) )).
Mimicking the cowboys we've seen in westerns we wore handkerchiefs over our mouths and noses. Of course we're trying to stop something far more dangerous than the dust that the cowboys of the wild wild west were trying to stop.
Have you ever stopped to think about what freedom means for you? I confess I haven't done much until this year at least. As I sit here having already spoken with 2 ladies from the church (who are also here having a coffee!) I find myself thinking about it more. Mind you I had already decided that this blog would be about freedom before I got here.
So what is freedom for me - lots of things both big and small. This morning I'm thinking about the flat white I'm enjoying (much better than anything I can make at home); the chance to write this sitting in a cafe (I do a lot of my writing in public places - many a Sunday message has been written at McDonald's!); the chance to see and interact with people - even if it's just the head nod because we have masks on (did you know you can tell if someone is smiling behind their mask - think about it, try it); the chance just to be out of the house; being able to drive - ok it's only been a matter of a few km's so far but I love driving and I've missed it over the last 2 1/2 weeks.
There's a song from my youth that has words that go something like - You don't know what you've got till its gone. That's true of our freedom and our freedoms, I think. It's not until we are locked down and can't do the things we normally would that we miss the freedom we enjoy. COVID is taking a toll in many ways and it's causing issues and challenges. BUT it's also providing us with opportunities. Opportunities to rethink, to remind ourselves of who and what is important. Family, friends, food, fellowship, freedom.
What freedoms do you have that you are grateful for? That you need to thank God for. I encourage you to take time to think about that now. Talk together with others - your spouse, your family, your friends. And take time to thank God for the freedoms we enjoy here in NZ and for the freedom he gives us to be his children.
Have a blessed free week