Shoes & Rules
Keep your shoes on, take your shoes off, don't take your shoes off. A few rules that I experienced over the last week.
I have been traveling this last week. I was blessed to be able to attend the LEA Administrators' Conference in Orlando. I had clearance to go through prescreened security at Midway and wasn't supposed to have to take off my shoes, however, my boots had metal and set off the alarms, so I had to take off my boots.
One of the sessions I attended was the Disney Experience. It was a behind the scenes learning experience at WDW. As we traveled to Disney one of the rules we were told was "Don't take your shoes off when behind the scenes." This rule struck everyone as a strange rule. We all thought, "Why would we (adults all) even think to take off our shoes?"
These "shoe" rules started me thinking about how we look at rules, especially the rules that God gave us.
When Adam & Eve approached the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil, did they think why would God make this rule?
What about the 10 Commandments? When God Gave Moses these rules, did he think "Why?"
God's rules are given for so many reasons, but first and foremost they are given for our benefit. Just as the rules for plane travel have now been put into place for our protection and the rules for keeping our shoes on behind the scenes at Disney are for our safety (who knows what might be on the ground). God wants us to be safe here in the world He created for us.
He gave Adam & Eve the one basic rule at the beginning of time. This rule was given to Adam even before Eve was created. The rule was to not eat of the Tree of Knowledge, Genesis 2:15-17. This was all the rules needed to survive in the Garden.
Once God and man were separated by the Fall, our Father had to give man more rules to live by to keep us safe. He first gave the Ten Commandments and then He gave the Israelites rules to live by to keep them safe and healthy.
The first of the Ten Commandments is to "Have no other gods". This so important that God put it at the top of the list.
When Jesus was approached and asked what the most important commandment was, His response was, "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This the first and greatest commandment." But interestingly, Jesus didn't stop here. He continued before another question could be asked of Him, "Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:36-4).
What is even more interesting is what Jesus said in John14:23 (ESV), "If any loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." This is following right along with the First Commandment.
Here in our world we follow the rules because we have to, because we will receive a punishment, not be allowed on the plane, lose our place on the plane, not be allowed to participate in the event. But with Christ, we follow the rules because we love Him. The reason we love, is very simple. We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)
Vicki Helmling is a teacher at Grace English Lutheran School