That word sounds like it equals no fun. It makes me think of rules, do’s and dont’s (mostly don’ts), regulations, requirements. It makes me feel oppressed and extinguished.
But I’ve got it all wrong.
Yesterday, I read a funny post on Facebook from my very best friend about how for the month of November she was reading a verse from Proverbs chapter one each day with her little kids before school and how verse 7 was, well….R rated, causing her to do some mid-verse interpretations. I was inspired to also read to my own kids in the mornings. My brood is a little older so we are attempting to read a chapter each morning, there’s 31 chapters so if we can stay on track (and catch up for the 7 days we are behind) we should finish at the end of the month. I’ve never successfully completed anything everyday for an entire month, other than maybe…breathing in and out; so pray for me, friends…lift a sister up.
Today we read Proverbs chapter one from the Message version on my Bible App. My cherubs are 14, 8 and 9 (and 2 but the toddler doesn’t participate in the 6:30 am Bible study time for all our sakes), they listened semi-attentively as they finished brushing hair and last minute things to get ready for school.
Proverbs chapter one is all about wisdom – well, more of an introduction. It talks about what wisdom is, where it starts, why you want it, what happens if you don’t have it and the like. Basically it says a 2 things.
- Wisdom is GOOD. You need it to have a good life.
- Wisdom comes from GOD, learning and having a healthy “fear” or respect for God’s laws will help you gain wisdom.
So, when we were done I summed up the chapter in a few sentences.
This chapter is about wisdom. Wisdom is being wise, obviously; making good, smart, and right choices.
I asked them, from whom or what does the book say wisdom comes?
They answered God – which is correct.
I asked them, what does it mean to “fear” or respect God?
They answered – to obey His laws and commands.
Awesome – so they get it. Woohoo!!!
But, I wanted to kind of dig deeper into this. WHY should we obey God’s laws and commands? Is it only because we are afraid that God will smite us with His mighty hand? Is it because God is a mean old bully and wants us never to have fun?
My kids, of course, giggled and said no. Their answer was correct – it’s because He loves us. But I wanted them to understand further than that Sunday School answer – which is entirely correct, but I really want them to GET IT!
So I asked them – what if we took the net off the trampoline?
You should have seen their faces…it was priceless. They all looked..well, a little scared.
I said, would it be as much fun?
They all said emphatically NO!
Because we might fall off.
God’s directions for us are not so that we don’t have fun or because He is mean. God gives us healthy, safe boundaries so that within those boundaries, we have complete freedom. Within the net of the trampoline you are free to bounce as high as you can, you can flip and roll, run, slide and have no fear of flying off, falling through, or knocking off the one you’re bouncing with. The net will keep you safe and give you freedom.
Because of the net, you can learn to bounce and flip higher. You can become stronger and not grow tired from always watching for the edge. You can have independence – you can bounce whenever you want because of the net I don’t feel like I have to park my lounge chair next to the trampoline to watch and constantly bark warnings “not so high, you’re too close to the edge, don’t play that someone will get knocked off….”
That is what God desires for us. Freedom!
He gives us boundaries because He wants us to reach our MAX potential, he wants us to have the MOST fun, and he wants us to be FREE.
It was a great moment for us, when they completely GOT IT! I called after them as they left “Go forth, my children, and do the work of the Lord!”
It sounded more like “Y’all have a good day! Be thankful!”
Thank you Lord for peaceful early mornings, trampolines, and for giving us boundaries so we might be free! Y’all have a good day! Be thankful!