Rules of the Road

Mosaic Law consists of 613 different commandments, or ‘mitzvot.’

I couldn’t help but wonder why they were necessary. Moses got ten pretty good Commandments from God on Mt. Sinai. They appear all-inclusive. Why so many more?

As I thought about it, a reason came to mind. I think there are just too few people in this world who believe that we live in community.  It’s not about ‘me’, but about our human family.

And we should love each other as our own bodies. Not a lot of buy-in there either. It's that disconnect that gives rise to the need for extra instructions.

Take speed limits, for example. The limit is set at 30 mph for general safety. When someone sees a 30 mph speed limit sign, what do they really see? 35 mph? 40 mph?

Breaking that limit gets you pulled over for speeding, resulting in a 'warning' or a ticket. 

Get a ticket, you pay a fine. Or go to court. 
Go to court, you can plead guilty or not guilty. You pay the fine or present your case.

Refuse to pay or go to court? You will lose your license, or pay court costs and fines; and perform community service. 

Ok. How many rules is that? And that’s just with speed limits! Actually, 613 rules doesn’t sound like that much anymore, does it?

And don’t get me started with KP (Kitchen Police) duty. “Clean up after dinner “ doesn’t sound very complex. But it becomes a problem to the preteens and teenagers who don’t see it as a help to the family. 

If a job is seen as a huge burden, sure as shootin’, you’re going to need some more rules.

            No sweeping the floor crumbs under the rug.      
      Use soap on the cook pots. Don’t just rinse them.
Wipe down the placemats.

   Rinse the dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.

It’s starting to sound like a jail in here. All these rules! And what do the kids focus their frustration on? The rules, of course.

It would be better if their energy was aimed toward understanding. What if they realized that helping was a privilege and that they were lifting a burden of housework from their Mom? Maybe they’d also grasp that they were learning the skills needed for their own homes one day. Maybe then, KP duty wouldn’t need all those qualifiers.

But they are teenagers, the Israelites were stiff-necked people, and I am a driver in a hurry. Not much difference between us. It's focusing on ‘me’ and not ‘my community.’

The only ‘rules’ we really need, are the three things that point us outside of ourselves. Faith, hope and love. 

The greatest of these is the biggest ‘extra law buster’ of them all. Love.

Linking today with: Wednesday Prayer Girls, A Little R and R, Winsome Wednesdays
                                  Wisdom Wednesday, Wholehearted Wednesday
                                  Thriving Thursdays, Intentional Me, Raising Mighty Arrows

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