Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Obedience

My cyber friends, Peter Pollock and Bridget Chumbley, are having a blog carnival today where we all blog about our favorite topic, obedience. Yeah, I couldn't even type the word favorite with a straight face. Disobedience seems to come so naturally...

When I was a little girl, I adored my parents. And they loved me....So you would think that in the warm, loving environment I was blessed to be raised in, I would recognize that they were always doing what is best for me, and obey. Actually....

I vividly remember my mom telling me to never, ever grab anything from the stove, ever. I was shorter than the stove by at least half. One day, during breakfast mom went to the bathroom. Guess what I decided it was the perfect time for me to do? Find out what was so great about the pan on the stove! Mom got out of the bathroom just in time to smack my hand away from the pan. Hard.

Then there was daddy, telling me to never, ever play with knives. Well, mom and dad were busy one day. Any guesses as to where I went? Yep. Time to find out what fun the knife drawer in the kitchen held. The butcher knife looked mighty interesting to me... Apparently daddy figured I was too quiet. He came into the kitchen, gently removed the butcher knife from my hand, then smacked it. My hand, not the butcher knife.

We had lovely neighbors. The older woman next store was so kind and grandmotherly. We used to visit her and her husband often. But then there was the week she had company from overseas, and daddy said we should let her be, so she can enjoy people she may never see again....Well, having all the patience of a four year old, meaning none, any guesses as to what I did? Yep, I snuck out of the house to go next door. Daddy intercepted me, and I got the only spanking on my bottom that I remember. Perhaps not the only spanking, but the only one worth remembering....

I know. The post is supposed to be about obedience, and all I have written so far is about disobedience. I suppose it is because disobedience comes so natural. I had good, loving parents, who only made rules for my own good. Look at them. Anything unreasonable about telling your kids not to grab things that are cooking on the stove (especially when they are less than half the stove's height), not to play with butcher knives, or sneak out of the house at night when they are under age four?

And God doesn't ask anything unreasonable from us. Look at the ten commandments. If EVERYBODY followed them, ALL OF THE TIME, wouldn't planet earth be fabulous? Sure, we would still have death and disease (which, I know, technically wouldn't be here without Adam and Eve's first disobedience, but can the retired butcher knife inspector really judge Adam and Eve?), but we would have such harmony here...

Obedience would bring happiness and safety, just as I'd have been way safer and happier if I hadn't thought playing with hot pans, knives, and sneaking out were such good ideas. What is it about human nature that makes it so hard for us to trust the One (and the ones) who want only good and wonderful things for us, but so easy to trust our own bad judgement?

Am I any better about obedience as an adult than I was as a child? Hardly... My one area of improvement, I think, is coming to understand that I need to obey because it is good for me, and not because I might get caught...

So I guess what I am saying is that before obedience comes trust, and who is worthier of trust than God? Come to think of it, who is worthy of absolute trusts BESIDES God? I know there are many bible verses about trust. But right now, I am thinking of a beautiful old hymn. I am sure you know it as well, if not better, than I do....


18 comments:

Wendy said...

Why is it that I can totally imagine your hand getting slapped repeatedly? ;o)

Wouldn't it be nice if obedience just came naturally?

Ginny (MAD21) said...

I think you and my youngest would get along juuuust fine. We have learned not to tell her where the line is...

SarahBeeCreations said...

I think it's probably because those moments stood out as the few where you were disobedient - when you were a rebel - and that's why you remember them so clearly.

Bridget Chumbley said...

Helen, why do I find it hard to believe you were ever disobedient?

I love the stories you share and that they are honest and come from the heart.

Great post!

R. Holloway said...

Helen. Thank you for your post. It is so hard to obey sometimes. For humans any discussion about obedience is by default about disobedience.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

"retired butcher knife inspector" - *snort*

God cares much more about our obedience than our happiness, doesn't He? One of these days we'll all wake up to realize that our obedience leads to our eternal happiness. Until then, we are all broken - with knives and hot stoves and open doors to lure us away from what He wants for us. Great post, Helen!

katdish said...

"I need to obey because it is good for me, and not because I might get caught..."

Yep. That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

Great non-obedience obedience post, Helen.

Peter P said...

Disobedient? You? Never!

:-) LoL

Are you sure you're a RETIRED butcher's knife inspector?

Great post. Thanks for joining in the fun!

Anne L.B. said...

I can't deny breaking all ten commandments. In my heart if not in action. Within the last ... month? week?

Awful, isn't it? Praise the Lord, even though I've been cleansed in the blood, He keeps washing my feet from the sin in which I keep walking.

jasonS said...

Oh I know what you mean for sure, for sure. Also the thought of your dad slapping the butcher knife made me chuckle. Not going to lie, I may have even chortled a little. :)

Kevin said...

"I need to obey because it is good for me, and not because I might get caught..."

AMEN! Obedience is about God's protection and God's provision.

Beth said...

Everyone already took what I was going to say! No fair! Loved the "butcher knife inspector" line, too. Loved the good for me vs. might get caught line...

Parenting REALLY has taught me a lot about obedience and cast a more glaring light on the fact that I don't obey nearly as much as I think I do...

Billy Coffey said...

I'm with you, Helen. There's nothing quite like the allure of a nice knife. Must be the Hungarian in you and the Cherokee in me. Obedience hasn't come easier for me as I've grown older, but it at least has become more recognizable.

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

What a great take on this topic, Helen! I can think of just a FEW times (okay, DOZENS of times) (okay, HUNDREDS of times) that I defied my parents' totally reasonable request.

Smacking the knife made me chuckle/chortle too.

Joanne Sher said...

Disobedience IS natural. And yeah - I can relate.

Good stuff!

sherri said...

Great illustration of the importance of obedience Helen. And I love this song. I have never heard of the singer before, but she reminds me of a very young Allison Krauss, who I love.

jojoagot said...

i agree with R. Holloway, most discussions about obedience is by default about disobedience. i'm so guilty of this, lol. thanks for this post helen

nAncY said...

your mentioning of trust is a good one.

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