I learned something about myself recently, well, I probably knew it all along but it finally registered. When we start talking about “doing” or “keeping standards” I lose my mind. . . . Literally . . . my brain stops thinking, my heart starts beating, and my tongue, well anything that rolls off my tongue makes no sense whatsoever, not even to me. Its just a garbled mess of back peddling out of the mud.
And if that wasn’t enough, well, I can’t seem to stop myself from talking. I want to. I want to just quietly, sweetly sit there, pleasant smile on my face and let everyone else talk about it. They are fine. They don’t need me to say anything. Jesus loves all of us . . . let them wrestle it out without my input.
But that doesn’t happen. I get so riled up inside, that I open my mouth and it all comes spilling out. And then when I’m all done I want to go crawl in a hole and slowly die . . .
Its not that I want to ignore the scriptures where Jesus says “if you love me, keep my commandments”. It just seems like that means I need to make sure my skirt length goes to my knees, I don’t show any cleavage, I can’t swear, don’t eat pork, can’t swim on Sabbath and a myriad of other don’ts and can’ts. It makes me crazy, probably because I want to please God and do His will. AND I guess I have a rebellious spirit and don’t want anyone telling me what to do.
I can’t live by a list of rules. First, I hate lists and second, rules . . . well the thought just makes me want to throw up.
I recently watched a movie called, Lord, Save Us From Your Followers, I recommend it, though some may find it a little irreverent at first. It’s a documentary. A Christian man explores Christianity in America. There seemed to be this huge contrast. There were (or are) the condemning, judgmental Christians who postulate that New Orleans was hit by Hurricane Katrina as a punishment from God for their sinfulness and want to clean the world up for all its sinful corruption..
And then there are the ones who after dark take meals to the streets. and literally wash the feet of drunkards and addicts, who sit and listen to the story of the schizophrenic as they share a simple meal.
I also just finished a book by Anne Lamott. In it she talks of an atheist friend of hers who goes to Africa on relief efforts.
Which is God pleased with more, the Christian who shakes her finger at the teen whose make-up is too thick and skirt is too high. . . OR . . . the atheist who feeds the hungry in Africa. . .
I don’t know!
What I do know is that Jesus said, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice”. . . and 1 Corinthians 13 tells me that I can have faith that moves mountains, or can prophecy or can speak with the tongues of angels. . . but without love, well, it amounts to a hill of beans.
The Standard. . . well the standard probably has less to do with how far in the water I went on the Sabbath and a whole lot more to do with “did I love?”
I’m not sure what will happen the next time there is a discussion on “doing” and Standard. . . I’m pretty guaranteed there will be one. I’ll likely behave the same way. I’ll say a garbled mess, not make any sense . . . and walk away wishing I’d kept my mouth shut.
I know how I want to live though. I don’t want to live tied up in knots over a list of can and can’ts.
I want to live LOVE and be free.