Pluto is no longer a planet. Sugar is no longer a health food. Phone booths and payphones no longer exist (except for a smattering of the UK’s red antiquaries). Computers are no longer the fingers on both hands. And as we are no longer see as sufficiently intelligent to keep ourselves safe, teeter totters (seesaws), merry-go-rounds, rope/tire swings and monkey bars (jungle gyms) are no longer safe enough to be on playgrounds (our surviving these bone-breaking, blood-letting beasts is truly miraculous!). We have warning labels on everything from water bottles, hot drink cups, burger wrappers, toothpaste tubes, and pages-long lists of dire side effects possible (including death, so ask your doctor!) on the thousands of medications now available. Our cars are laden with the newest safety features and can now drive and park all by themselves. Vaccines are a godsend, useless, or deadly (if the current social media frenzy is any indication, that jury is still out). And the final safety measure securely in place (at least in North America) is the ever-threatened lawsuit. If we are killed, injured, offended, fired, not given a raise, scalded by hot coffee, experience brain freeze from that milkshake, there are legal teams just a phone call away, ready to help.
Long before these contemporary developments were ever dreamed of, God placed safety nets, boundaries, clear right and wrong, like bumper guards, guaranteeing a full and satisfying life for us and our unhindered relationship with Him. Recorded human history doesn’t exactly show us in the most favorable light. It pictures rabid hordes ignoring, stiffening their necks, thumbing their noses, even outright defying, every lovingly instituted, Divine safeguard. Today, cultural ‘norms’ see God, and His norms, as archaic, draconian, dangerous, even evil! As we, his adoptees, live joyfully obeying His commands, we, too, are seen as archaic (so medieval!), draconian (read discriminatory), dangerous (think domestic terrorists!) even evil (denying people’s right to their own, highly customized version of personal happiness). Maybe you’ve noticed that those who call most loudly for tolerance are, often, the most loudly intolerant. So, what do the Scriptures say? Peter reminds us: “ . . .you are divinely loved friends who are resident aliens and foreigners in this world, or resident aliens living in exile. Recognize the value of every person and continually show love to every believer. Live your lives with great reverence and in holy awe of God. Honor your rulers.” 1 Peter 2:11,17 TPT, VOICE.
Here, again, for a Thursday refreshing of God perspective, is the prayer at the close of each day’s Lectio 365 devotional:
“Father, help me to live this day to the full, being true to you in every way.
Jesus, help me to give myself away to others, being kind to everyone I meet.
Spirit, help me to love the lost, proclaiming Christ in all I do and say.”