Figuring Out What It Is, Is the Hard Part
There were a couple of boys selling candy bars to raise money for a school project. When they asked a man walking by if he would like to by one, he agreed to, on one condition…the boys had to eat it. The kind gesture on the part of the man backfired when one of the boys refused to eat his half. He said, “I can’t take candy from a stranger.”
His obedience to the rule was without understanding the underlying meaning.
In this week’s Scripture, Luke 13:10-17, Jesus heals a woman on the Sabbath. This causes a church leader to become angry. The rule was, no work on the Sabbath. Jesus points out that, if it’s okay to water their animals on the Sabbath then surely, it’s okay to heal this woman.
We often get hung up on rules without looking beyond the surface and going deeper. One of the Ten Commandments is, to keep the Sabbath holy, Exodus 20:8-11. What is the reason for not working on the Sabbath? God made everything in six days. If he can do that and then rest a day, we should be able to do our work in the same amount of time.
What about those whose jobs require the work be seven days each week, i.e. medical, power and utilities, emergency workers, etc. The important thing is to rest and honor God…which ever day of the week that happens to be. Most of us are working more than we should and it’s no one’s fault but our own. We need to dig down on this question and find the balance of work and rest.
This doesn’t mean that rules aren’t important and that we shouldn’t follow them, because they are. We need to be careful to not get hung up on each little rule or cultural trend and miss the big picture. Our busy lives cause us to take things at face value. It’s quicker and easier to follow the crowd and just believe what we’re being told. It’s important to dig deep and find the underlying foundation.
There’s something better out there and it’s up to us to find it.
Some people visiting an orphanage in Botswana witnessed a young girl who wasn’t joining in the activities with the rest of the children. Then they noticed crutches lying on the ground beside her. After some research they found out that she was unable to walk from birth, but with the use of the crutches and therapy she was improving. As the group was going inside, she fell, the people started to go help her up, but the leaders of the orphanage stopped them. They said that God has something better in store for every child and her getting up on her own made her stronger.
God has something better in store for each of us…we just have to get up when we fall down.
We need to be careful to not get tripped up by the rules without knowing the underlying meaning and if we do, get back up and go again. The more we do the stronger we become.