This is one of my favorite quotes from John’s gospel but it took me a long time to figure out what it really means. Too many well intentioned, pious people have made religion into a set of rules and regulations that instill fear and anxiety into many an innocent soul. The faith I was brought up in was a lot like that – somber, serious and centered on what I was doing wrong. With such a restrictive take on faith, it is no wonder that so many go astray before they can experience what gifts that the spiritual life holds. I still remember distinctly the day that a spiritual mentor broke open this Scripture passage and showed me that the abundant life Jesus wants for us is just the opposite – full of limitless freedom, robust laughter, and zestful living. That transformative moment in time re-oriented my inner compass of joy and nothing has been the same ever since.