Hey there! How’s everybody today? Hope everyone is doing well. We’re still getting some much-needed rain as I write this. The weather has been a bit sticky here, but I’m not complaining too much just yet. Grab a cup or a glass of whatever tickles your fancy, and find a comfy spot to relax. I’ve been hearing some interesting things from some folks around me lately, and it started me thinking… and posting, lol.
How many times have we heard, “Nobody’s gonna tell me what to do. After all, I have my own ideas of what’s right and I need to be able to do that without interference (or comment!) from anybody else.” Sounds great in theory, but in reality? First of all, none of us are that good. Secondly, none of us are unselfish enough to let the other one do things their own way. Finally, well, let’s just look at what happens without rules.
Have you ever been to an amusement park with the little ‘bumper cars’? That would appear to be a place with no rules, but how quickly it comes to absolute gridlock when everyone is going a different direction and wants the same 6 square feet of real estate, lol. Have you ever tried to drive through an intersection when the traffic light wasn’t working? Again, ‘no rules’… or wait, there are rules – rules about who is supposed to go in what order so traffic moves. But if we ignore those rules, there’s often an accident at that intersection, and again that ties everybody up. If you look carefully, I think you’ll find that there is no place we can get away from some sort of rules or laws – natural law, civil law, moral law. The law actually protects us!
I see a disturbing trend in our society. But it’s not new… the first time it happened was right after Creation. Remember the story of Cain and Abel? Abel was the ‘goody two shoes’, the ‘moralist’, the ‘religious right’ sort of guy. He followed God’s ways and laws. His brother Cain? Not so much. He wanted to do his own thing, not hurt anybody, just get on with his life. But God didn’t agree; so Cain got upset. Not with God, mind you, but with his brother – Abel. Upset enough that he couldn’t stand the sight of him. The Bible doesn’t record that Abel said one word to his brother, it doesn’t record that Abel did anything hateful or mean to Cain. I really think that Cain knew in his heart he was wrong, and was so proud he refused to admit it. So, he decided to take things another step further into his own hands and get rid of Abel. So, he murdered him. The second generation of mankind and we already have domestic violence that ends in death. (Somebody want to tell me again how good the human race is?)
Cain & Abel – Gods rules, Gods ways. Cain thought he could get around it, but God sees all and knows all. After the murder, God put a mark on Cain to keep him from being killed – not to make him suffer, but to give space and time for Cain to come to his senses and repent. He needed to be inside God’s boundaries of love and mercy, and protection. Outside God’s boundaries that He set for our good, we are open to attack from every sort of enemy- sin, pain, death. Bumper cars and chaos.
Our quest for freedom from all rules and restraint actually goes back farther than Cain and Abel. Eve was the first woman ever created, and the first one to challenge God’s authority. She lost, as has every one throughout history who has thought they knew more than God, or that He didn’t really mean what He said. But look at God’s response. Love. Tolerance. Patience. He gives us so much time and space to come to understand what true freedom is. He waits, longing for us to just come back and say, “Yeah, You were right. I made a mess. So… do You suppose You could fix me?” Notice it’s ‘fix me’, not fix the mess or make it all perfect or make it all go away.
True freedom comes from living by the guidelines God sets out in the Scriptures. I’ve personally tried it both ways. Trust me, it’s so much easier to just do it God’s way to begin with. His law IS the law of love. If we follow it, we’ll all get along just fine and have joy in doing it. Maybe you’re in the place I was some years back. Maybe you’re tired of the messes you’ve made. He’s waiting. If you need help, find a pastor or a priest. They can guide you back into the protection of God’s law of love.