When I was younger, I remember hearing teachers and older students saying things like, "When I was their age..." It was something that always irritated me, especially when I got into Middle School. To me, it seemed like people weren't living in the new age and it was really annoying. How were we supposed to live when people were comparing us to what was?
Well, yesterday... I found myself doing exactly what I hated when I was younger! When I was filling in for the kindergarten teacher at my churches after school program, I saw some things that were completely crazy! During recess, there was a boy that was running with a lawn chair. I told the boy that he needed to stop running with it before he got hurt. What did he do? Look at me, look at the chair and then kept running. I decided after multiple times of telling him to stop, he would sit in the chair for time-out. It isn't abnormal for kids not to listen at a certain age, so I didn't really consider it to be normal when the kids starting "shooting" each other. I saw multiple fist fights, rocks being thrown and the famous "police game." Maybe I'm out of touch with what kids are being taught these days, or maybe I just don't understand the situation.
After recess, they had music lesson and I took some time in the Sanctuary to sit in my spot. I wrote a letter to my friend, David and reflected on some things that have happened lately. When they got out of music we had craft and lesson time. I was completely amazed at the curriculum! I was even more amazed at the answers that they gave me! The lesson was over "The Ten Commandments" and after they learned that they were like rules, I asked them what kind of rules they have to follow at school. The first answer was, "No smoking" and the second answer I got was "No drinking whiskey." I don't know about you, but when I was that age, I thought whiskey was "Daddy Juice" and I didn't realize that it was whiskey until I was in 6th grade or so! How do these kids know these things? Was I just really unaware?
These kids are going to be thrown into a lot of temptations when they get older. With more knowledge comes a lot more responsibility. I would never wish on people to be stupid and unaware, but to know things that young is kinda crazy! One of the Bible verses that was in the lesson plan was:
"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5)
I've seen this verse before, but never thought of it to deal with temptations that we face everyday. It says to love the Lord with all your strength, how can we do that? God's commandments are made to keep us safe, not to make our life boring. If you think of it like a stoplight, the yellow light is there to warn us that the red light is coming. If you run the red light, you might get hurt. If we break the Ten Commandments, it might be fun, but when it's all over you're gonna be broken and hurt. Can we love the Lord by having to strength to resist "speeding up at the yellow light?"
I've never though of it like that, I guess I always thought of rules as constraints, not as a way to keep me safe. Makes everything that's happened in the past year make a whole lot more sense!
How can you love the Lord with all your strength?