Don’t do that!!!
When I was little my Mom always said
Don’t touch the stove it might be hot!! Well, I had to find out myself.
Don’t touch the hot water tank, it might be hot!! Surely, not everything in the world is hot?
Don’t touch the fan, it might cut off your fingers!! That one I obeyed.
Don’t put your hand over a candle flame, it might burn you. Well, I just had to try it.
Don’t run where running is not safe? I couldn’t understand that running was a problem in some places. I was running the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning.
Don’t shout or scream when it’s not necessary. My Mom was very sensitive to nose…except when she was yelling at us!!
Don’t leave the kitchen with the water running at the sink. My older sister did that once and flooded the kitchen, so my middle sister and I heard that warning the rest of Mom’s life.
Don’t go to Mr. Cunningham’s house today, he has a migraine. I admit I was a pest. Loved Mr. Cunningham and when he was well, he would put up with my curiosity and answer, or at least try to answer my bazillion questions. Hmm, maybe that is why he has migraines!!??
Don’t go any further than the mailbox at the end of the street. Hmmm, the mailbox was that Big Blue box bolted in the cement at the end of several streets in my large neighborhood. Ours was about 10 houses from my house. I use to sit on top of it and wait for the mailman.
Don’t whine outside the screen door while I am mopping the floor! She would lock the screen door on cleaning day and make us eat PP&J sandwiches outside.
Don’t eat stuff that smells. To this day I still smell everything before eating or drinking.
It didn’t matter what it was my Mom always had a warning. Some were silly.
Don’t step on a crack, you’ll break your Mama’s back.
Don’t walk under a ladder. Bad luck.
Don’t cross a black cat. More bad luck.
Don’t break a mirror. Even more bad luck.
Don’t spill salt. The worse of bad luck!!!
Don’t cross your eyes. I have a lazy eye so this shouldn’t count!
Don’t shoot arrows at people. (??)
Mom had lots of don’ts. It seemed to me that she was the cosmic killjoy with all of her don’ts. I couldn’t wait till I was older and didn’t have to listen to her warnings any longer. To be old enough, mature enough, wise enough to do what I wanted with minimal consequences.
Then came reality.
Crossing the yellow line isn’t brave…it’s often very stupid.
Testing authority isn’t brave, it’s foolish. Resisting conformity never means you have to disobey or shun the laws of a civil society. Curiosity doesn’t always mean testing the boundaries. Boundaries are there to protect us.
Now my Mom is gone…what I would do to hear her tell me again not to mess up her newly mopped floor.
I have a higher authority in my life now. Much higher than any government or human authority.
There are lots of don’ts in the Bible…
Do not swear, say Yes or No
Do not judge others
Do not seek revenge
Do not fight nor resist
Do not speak against the Holy Ghost
Do not show your alms
Don’t worry about tomorrow
Do not make your own rules
Do not offend / trouble believers
Do not live a worldly life
And of course The Ten Commandments
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall make no idols.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Keep the Sabbath day holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.
God has boundaries for our protection…He is not a cosmic killjoy any more than my Mom was. My Mom’s desire was to keep me safe and to teach me the ways of life that needed attention and obedience when I was 5, 10, 15, 20….and God is doing the same with me now.
There are also a lot of do’s and many promises in Scripture. Those are easier and that’s why most Pastors & churches concentrate on the more pleasant and ignore the warnings.
Would my Mom have been more loving to let me do what I wanted and expect the very best out of every situation of life? Would I have known not to cross the street without looking at 5? Or that that stove was hot? Or that staying close to home and the protection of my parents & family was never enforced? Of course not. I needed the warnings and the boundaries then, and I still need them today.
I have a Savior that loves me a bazillion times more than my Mom…and His word is truth and His truth will set me free and keep me safe.
Some more thought about this next time.