Friday, January 13, 2017

There Ought to Be a Law



There probably is. There have been laws, society norms, and traditions dictating behavior from the first moment of human existence, and there have always been those who refused to follow the rules as indicated by the long list of criminals stretching back to Cain and Abel.

However, laws do give people the authority to remove offenders from their communities and eliminate some threats to their lives and property.

Still, people want more laws. They want to regulate every aspect of human behavior, defining speech, diets, shopping, what we can and cannot own, along with the bigger laws against theft and murder.  If a group thinks a behavior is wrong, they want a law. If another group opposes their agenda, they want a counter law. 

This even goes further. People rail against God for not stopping wars, famines, pestilences, natural disasters and the list goes on. They want him to act on our whims, our desires, our need for control, except when it comes to our personal behavior. Then we reject his laws because they interfere with our freedom of choice. What a bunch of hypocrites we are. 

We have all heard the quote, “There are over ten billion laws enacted to enforce the Ten Commandments,” and we still add more every day. 

A morning show host interviewed a woman campaigning for laws regulating what people can eat. She wanted a law making it illegal for people designated as overweight to purchase items not approved by her. I am not kidding.

The talk show host asked, “So how would you regulate this law? Put a set of scales at every checkout, and if it said you were overweight, the checker would remove the unlawful food from your cart?”
She replied, “Yes, that’s exactly what should happen, or have a card from your doctor dictating what food you can have and how much.”

“Isn’t that discrimination?”

“No, absolutely not. It’s for their benefit.”

“I see. So you’re better at determining what others need than they are.”

“Absolutely.”

Really? And where would this end?

Back to our opinion of what God should control. We too often think he should be like us, forcing everyone to act as we think is best. Thank goodness he isn’t like us.

This reminds me of a story about a monk who had a fruit tree. Concerned the weather wasn’t conducive to nurture his tree, he asked God to make it rain. When he deemed there had been enough, he asked for sunshine. After that, a touch of frost to strengthen it. Then more sunshine and so on. God complied.

Instead of thriving, his tree shriveled and appeared to be dying. He looked at the tree his fellow monk had planted, and it flourished with an abundance of sweet fruit.

“Why is your tree is doing so well and mine is dying? I asked God to send rain, sunshine, and frost.”

The other monk shrugged. “I asked God to send whatever it needed to be healthy, and left it up to him to decide how much and when.”

Then the first monk understood. He had no idea what the tree needed to thrive, but its Creator did.

The same with us. We meddle into things we should leave in God’s hands, and then ask God why he allowed such things to happen. Even science has acknowledged their attempts to regulate wildlife and habitat has often resulted in a horrific imbalance leading to more destruction. Humans trying to play God without his omniscience.  (Of course, we need to be good stewards, but there is a difference between being a good steward and trying to recreate what God has already created.)

What if we obeyed God’s commandments, and left the rest up to him? I imagine the world would be a lot different than it is now. 

“Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity. He came to change the mind of humanity about God.” Fr. Richard Rohr, Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self

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