I’ll confess that if my mother tells me to do something, I have a strong urge not to do it. It isn’t just reluctance, it is a rebellious force like the opposite pole to a magnet. Most things are fine but when there is a difference of opinion and I feel that I am being told then I get stubborn.
The government have been guiding us through the Covid19 pandemic with legally enforceable restrictions. Police had to work out how to apply the laws and used four “E’s” Engage, Encourage, Explain and then if necessary Enforce. Many people saw reason quickly and a few needed persuading and a very small number were deliberately breaking the rules and there was no alternative but to fine them and threaten arrest if they did not comply.
Now that we are able to be free of formal restrictions, how do we choose to keep ourselves and those around us safe? What rules will be needed and how do we agree when there are differences of opinion?
How we understand rules can depend on how we interact with them. Many of us will infringe rules from time to time. Cutting across the grass is a very trivial matter but eventually it will leave the grass damaged. Breaking speed limits can be very dangerous but most of us will briefly exceed limits when we are moving from one speed zone to another.
It is only when we connect with those around us, those affected by law-breaking, that we begin to feel the responsibility for obeying. Pictures of school children remind us that going a bit too fast in a car could lead to more severe injury if there is a collision. Perhaps remembering that there are vulnerable people who are worried about catching Covid might help us to keep up the handwashing, distancing and the wearing of masks.
It makes me wonder how we relate to the Almighty. We can ignore him if we are distant and do not want to follow his rules but when we come closer to God, we feel that sense of grief for the brokenness of creation, even the weakness within ourselves. Thankfully, God has a solution: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. May we be better connected to each other, so that we may be better connected to our Creator.
Be blessed and be a blessing,