Sunday, November 28, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
There are rules and then there are rules. If I told you baseball bats were bad, you’d probably laugh at me, especially if you played the game. You may not know what I know about baseball bats. I may have seen someone beaten to death with a baseball bat or I may have been hit and injured severely as a kid. As a RULE, however, if you get hit hard enough in the nose with a baseball bat, your nose will be broken. Now here is a more broad spread RULE, Blunt-force trauma can kill you. You should protect yourself from blunt-force trauma.
Now some might make rules, teaching their children to stay away from baseball bats. “Don’t go near people with baseball bats”, they say. They may make them wear protective clothing or even stay in the house on pretty days when people might be outdoors playing with baseball bats. Others step out against such silliness and make their kids play baseball or softball when they are little, even buying them expensive bats to play with. The first think, “maybe these people don’t understand how dangerous the bats are”, so they write curriculum to teach the dangers of baseball bats. The folk who play the game look down on the legalists, thinking “Don’t they see how safe the game is and how foolish it is to make rules about bats. No one is getting hurt by a bat”. Yet the ‘legalists’ keep seeing the problem. One of them probably works or worked in the ER and saw blunt-force trauma injuries every day, many of which may have occurred with a baseball bat. But the folk who play baseball then make their own rules, such as wearing a helmet while playing baseball, and if you are on deck, you must stay in the on-deck circle, and if you are not batting or on deck, you must stay in the dugout. Even unwritten rules, such as “if you see someone close to you swinging a bat, duck or get away”
There are rules and then there are principles. I do not intend to research and document all of the rules, but like blunt-force trauma can kill you, water in your lungs makes it hard to breath. The acceleration of gravity can cause blunt-force trauma. There are laws of thermodynamics, so if you put your hand in boiling water, it will burn you. That doesn’t make boiling water bad, you just have to know the law and obey it. Don’t put your bare hand in boiling water. There are laws of physics, so don’t jump out of an airplane without a parachute. There are laws of mathematics … they must be understood and obeyed. They can make you rich or poor, like in the case of compounded interest on your savings account or on your credit card. There are dietary laws and principles that follow. I’m no nutritionist, but if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight, I think. Kind of a mix of dietary and mathematical laws. Dental laws, or principles, such as if you eat a lot of sugar, your teeth will rot, (a mix of dental and dietary law). So, laws can be blended, I guess.
The Lord gave us laws; they are called the 10 commandments, or the ten words of the Lord God. The rest of His testaments are also His Words, as Jesus is called His Word. The word was, the word is, and the word will be. The rules are simple and simply stated, but they are far reaching in principles, as are the rules in physical life. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your might. Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself. Simple. Now, if you love God, you will obey him. Obedience is the evidence of your love of the Lord. OK, but what do you obey? His law? Which is summarized in Love God and Love Your Neighbor. So, really simply put, if you love God, you will obey him by loving your neighbor. Now here is where it gets complicated. Here is where man starts messing up and “keeping his kids away from baseball” or buying them baseball bats in excess.
The good news is that we have the good news, the Gospel of Christ to tell us the right way to deal with “baseball bats”. We have the entire Old Testament full of history, poetry, and prophesy to show us what was done right and wrong by the people. Better still it is a revelation of the Person of God whom we are bound legally to love. The New Testament then is also the history of Love in Christ, the poetry of Love and the prophesy of Love in Christ. It is, it was and it forever will be.
I had a dream this night, about my older kids disrespecting me. Oh, it was just a dream, so you don’t have to think it was about you, my child. Anyway, in my dream it was like we were about to play a game of some kind and there were many people involved. Besides my own kids, there were relatives, church members, movie stars and sports figures. It was like I was a coach, or maybe just a chaperone or something. I wanted to teach them a lesson, to communicate to them some principles that would help them in life and in the game and they walked away. I got some more insight and wanted them to come back to me and learn from my wisdom, but only three of the five of them came back, while the others stayed away. The ones who came back to hear what I had to say did so with reluctance and with arrogant disregard. I was crushed. In my dream, they looked down on me as a legalistic fool. They did not realize that I was just trying to teach them some principles that would save them from pain. It woke me up, so I have tried here to put it into words, but the thoughts I had when I first woke up did not make it to this little Blog. I don’t know what I have written, but it is not at all what woke me from sleep early this morning.
I think I would like to go back to sleep now, but not before saying, following rules and principles in physical life and in spiritual life is not always a bad thing. These laws are meant to be blended. One must test the rule against the base rules, the Ten Words of the Lord God and their ultimate purpose, to glorify the Lord God Almighty and All Gracious.
Praise Him for his Grace and Mercy, for otherwise… well wow. Otherwise, I have no idea what or where I’d be, but praise him for I find myself tonight ever blessed by his presence in my life. Praise him for His rules and regulations, but praise him for he took the blunt force trauma in my place, and in Him I am alive and breathing the fresh air of His Word, His Law.