Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Learning The Hard Way

I tried to tell her. She wouldn’t listen to my words. She didn’t believe me over the deception of the scent. The temptation was too much. I told her not to touch it, not to taste. When I turned my back she saw the opportunity she needed. She reached for the forbidden delicacy. Perhaps she hesitated, I don’t know. Perhaps she thought of all the times before when I told her “no honey, that is not good for you”. But having heard those words and believing them in her heart are entirely different. She saw her chance and took the opportunity presented to her. She reached, took, forsook my words of caution, tasted and...was repulsed!

No...vanilla extract does not taste as wonderful as it smells. Not even the pure kind.

She had to learn the hard way.

Don’t we all sometimes?

He tells us in His loving words from the Book how to live, how not to live. Sometimes we listen to the words and sometimes...we do not. We don’t believe they are all deceptions—that’s why they deceive us. The temptation can be strong. His words instruct us to keep our distance. He cautions, warns, instructs, judges and punishes.

He never turns His back on us, but He allows us the freedom to choose—obey or disobey, turn towards or turn and flee, seek Me or seek self. Eve reached for the forbidden delicacy as well. We are her easily deceived daughters.

Perhaps we hesitate. Do we listen to the Holy Spirit’s caution? Perhaps we grow tired ourselves of saying “no” to the things of the world—we grow weary of being different and wonder what we might be missing out on. We know in our hearts His ways are best and yet...we wonder some times and want something different other times. Are these restrictive ways truly for a purpose? Daily we are presented with opportunities for this choosing. Do we reach? Do we take of it or forsake the pleasures of the world as the Spirit cautions?

Some times we taste the world and we are repulsed. Repulsed by our actions, our choice as well as the outcome. We knew better, we had been directed, our Father had penned the warning through His faithful followers in the Book. No, the ways of the world are not as wonderful as they present themselves to be. Not even always the ways of the Church, ways which should be pure.

Some times we have to learn the hard way.

The terrible taste lingered on her tongue. She was forgiven, but the consequence remained. I didn’t allow her to drink or eat anything for little while as a reminder to listen to her Mama. She knows now a little better to trust her Mama's words. They are not restrictive to be cruel, but because she is greatly loved and Mama only wants to protect and give the best to her precious child.

She learned today that Mama’s ways are best.

Our poor choices—our outright acts against God—can linger in our lives. We can be forgiven, but the consequences and ripple effects of such remain. This is our fair punishment, our discipline from our loving Father. He is hopeful that next time we will remember and heed His words. We know better next time to trust in His words. They, too, are not restrictive nor meant to be cruel. His teachings are to protect us, to keep us “unto Him until that day”.

Because we are greatly loved, He gave us His best—His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. We too are precious.

“How precious are Thy thoughts to me, O God!” Psalm 139:17a.

Daily we learn that His ways are best.