From an early age I can remember the times I decided to do something that I had been told not to do. I would usually be punished for the thing I did whether it was at home, in school, or in church. Then there were times I did things that I may have never been told not to do but I knew they were wrong.
One time I talked mom into letting me get up and leave a church service to go to the restroom. We were made to use the bathroom before the service started that so we would not be a disruption by going in and out. I can remember getting ready to return to the auditorium when I noticed the rope that was used to ring the church bell. I knew to ring the bell would be the wrong thing to do, but I thought I could tug gently on the rope and just make a very slight sound no one would hear. At first nothing happened so I pulled a little harder. Still nothing was happening and I was about to let go when the resistance on the rope suddenly was much less and the bell rang with a deafening sound. The bell had reached the break over point and the clapper slammed against the side of it. My heart sank and I wanted to crawl in a hole. Then it went through my mind to get back in the auditorium quickly and maybe no one would know. What was I thinking? My dad was giving the message and when I walked in most of the people were turned around looking at me. I knew I was in a heap of trouble.
I think back on that incident and I can see choices I made that led up to the unpleasant result. First; I talked mom into letting me go out. I really didn’t have to go to the restroom so badly that I needed to go that very minute. It was just something I wanted to do and not something I really needed to do. Second; If I had left my hands off the rope there would have been no loud bell ringing in the middle of my dad’s sermon that disrupted the entire service. Third; If I would have known the design of the break over point, I would have understood that you can not just pull on the rope and gently touch the clapper to the side of the bell.
Life is just like that. We experience accomplishments and consequences according to the everyday choices that we make. I made a choice to see if I could just barely ring the bell. My choice brought consequences that were not at all pleasant. I did not have to make that bad choice. If we would just pay attention to the manual God himself gave us for our life, we could make right choices and accomplish things that have good, not bad, consequences.
In Deuteronomy 28:1-2 “Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I have command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.”
These are the facts of everyday life that we consider every Wednesday evening at 7 and Sunday morning at 9:30 and 10:30 at the Gathering Place. Come and join in.