Friday, May 08, 2009

Toe the Line

I've mentioned before about how much Jackson loves waiting for the school bus every morning. It is the highlight of his morning! I thoroughly enjoy this time with Jackson every morning, and I only have one rule about this activity: Jackson cannot step over the line at the end of the driveway. The reason is simple enough. As Jackson's mom, I know that if Jackson steps over that line, that means that he is out in the street, and for his safety and protection, I can't allow that. It's pretty common sense, and Jackson knows this rule very well; he hears it every morning. However, that doesn't mean that he always follows this rule.

Today was one of those days.

It was one of those very foggy mornings, and visibility wasn't the best on our street. I headed down the driveway with Jackson and gently reminded him about staying away from "the line." Jackson said, "Okay." but then I quietly watched Jackson edge closer and closer to the line when he thought I wasn't paying attention, until his toe was just touching the edge of the line.

He just had to toe the line.

And it hit me like a ton of bricks: We do the same thing with God.

God, being our heavenly Father, has laid down some pretty simple rules for us. Nothing too complicated (although some are harder to follow than others), but simple enough for our small minds to be able to "get."

And yet, we are compelled to toe the line.

We do this in so many areas of our life. We watch television shows that demoralize family values in the name of humor. We pay good money to go see a movie that fills our minds with violent images and filthy language. We listen to music that we know is inappropriate or crude. How sad is it that we are so desensitized to foul language that we hardly notice when it is used? It's no wonder children's vocabulary has become so colorful. We are inundated with filth on a constant basis, much of our own choosing.

What's more, we live in a "gray" society. There is no black and white anymore. Everything is presented to us in shades of gray, and everything is "okay" as long as it makes you happy.

  • The Bible teaches about creation; Society teaches evolution.
  • The Bible speaks of keeping our bodies pure; Society talks to teens about "safe sex" and passes out condoms in health class.
  • The Bible says to respect life; Society questions exactly when life begins.
  • The Bible clearly conveys the sanctity of marriage; Society demands "equal rights."
  • The Bible says that Jesus is "the way, the truth, and the life."; Society tells us that there are many ways to Heaven, just pick one that makes you happy and go with it.
  • The Bible says that we should help those less fortunate than us; Society tells us to worry about ourselves first.
  • The Bible says to work hard for things, and you will be rewarded; Society tells us that we "deserve" anything and everything we want, and if you don't have money for it, just charge it.
Where does it end? When will we finally grow up and quit toeing the line?

Is God's word not enough? Are his rules so complicated that we can't follow them or is it that we choose NOT to follow them? All of them. Even the ones that aren't so easy to follow.

As a Christian I need to be held to a higher standard. I need to hold myself to a higher standard. God demands (and deserves) that from me. If I expect my two year old to honor and respect me by following ALL my simple rules, shouldn't I do the same for God? Let's face it: my parenting skills can't hold a candle to God's parenting skills. He is the be all end all of parents.

And I know that God has bigger plans for me than I could ever imagine.

It's time for me to see what God can do with me when I quit toeing the line...

You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. You're blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him. That's right—you don't go off on your own; you walk straight along the road he set. You, God, prescribed the right way to live; now you expect us to live it. Oh, that my steps might be steady, keeping to the course you set; Then I'd never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel. I thank you for speaking straight from your heart; I learn the pattern of your righteous ways. I'm going to do what you tell me to do; don't ever walk off and leave me.

Psalm 119: 1-8 (The Message)

4 random thoughts:

Miranda said...

Thank you for that. I needed that today and it spoke volumes to me.

Jeni said...

Really nice thoughts, Amy. You should submit it to some kind of daily inspirational/devotional book/column!

Nana said...

Hey, everyone, my daughter --
the mother of my grandson --
wrote that. Isn't she amazing!!! I'm so proud that she is mine, but more importantly, she is a child of God.

Yes, Amy, God has great plans for you and our family.

God is good.
God is good all the time.
I love Him so.

Nana said...

I love this so much that I'm using it at VBS. Wow -- what a lesson.

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