Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Lessons from the dishwasher

I was putting the dishes away this morning (part of the morning routine) and began to think. The forks go here and the knives go there. The plates are stacked at this place and the bowls are there. The platter goes here, under this bowl which has these bowls in it. Everything has it's place.

But what if I didn't want to put the things where they belong. What if I decided to randomly put one bowl in this cabinet and one bowl in another cabinet. What if I mixed the knives with the forks and put the spoons in another drawer all together. Bwahahaha! The wildness of it all was intoxicating. I could do what I wanted. No one could stop me! I was the master of my destiny, the master of my world! It didn't matter what anyone else thought, wanted or expected. It was all me! All me, I tell you! I could put things where I want them and...

Then I stopped to think. Isn't that the way that we, as sinners, live our lives? We don't want anyone to tell us what to do or to think. We want to act in the way we want to act, when we want to act and we don't want anyone - a God, a Christian, another person - telling us what to do. And when they do tell us what to do, we get ticked off. When someone points out that they think what we are doing is wrong, we get upset, throw a fit and tell them to mind their own business. We remind them about how unloving they are being by not allowing us to live our lives as we want, doing the things we want, when we want and how we want.

I think about the whole same-sex marriage debate that is going on. Someone says, "I want to be gay. I want to live the life of a homosexual. I want to be in a same-sex relationship." When someone (namely a Christian because most non-Christians could care less about what is right or wrong unless it directly impacts them in their lives) says, "But that is wrong." They are told, "You are a terrible person for telling me that. You cannot and should not tell me that what I am doing is wrong. And if that "god" that you follow is saying that same-sex relations is wrong, then "it" is a terrible, unloving thing that shouldn't be listened to and what is more, you are just a rotten person for even thinking of condemning me and my actions. Go crawl in your ancient hole and don't ever come out again. Good bye!" (All right, maybe that is a little dramatic but isn't that really the gist of what is being said in response to the Christian stating what is right and wrong?)

Then I go back to the dishes. I put them away where I want, when I want, how I want. The family gets up and goes to get a glass. But low and behold, instead of glasses in the cabinet, there are the forks, a few bowls and box a cereal. What? OK. try another cabinet. Nope, not there either. "Hey Mitch! What did you do with glasses?" "What difference does it make?" I respond. "They belong in this cabinet." "So, I wanted to put them elsewhere. I can do what I want, can't I? " "Are you nuts? Just put the glasses in this cabinet, the forks in the drawer and the bowls in their place. And how did you figure that the cereal went in this one?" "I dunno. I just wanted it to be my way today." "Well forget it. Come in here and put it all where it belongs." "No way! You can't tell me where things go. It is up to me."

(Later that same day.) Looking for my shoes, I call out, "Penny, where are my shoes? They are always right here in the closet." "I moved them." "Why?" "Because I felt like I wanted them somewhere else instead of in the closet." "Where did you put them?" "I dunno. Just moved them as I wanted and could care less if they are where they should be or not." "That is crazy...wait a minute, does this have to do with the dishes this morning?" "Now you are getting it, sunshine! Think it through." Going to the cabinet, I open it, expecting my shoes and all I find is a note that says, "Not here. That would be too easy." I sigh, and realize, life is not about my wishes but is about what is right and wrong, about others, about fitting in with others and doing (ready for this) what is right in God's eyes and not just what I want.

So it is in all things. Lessons from the dishwasher. Just because I think I want to do something, doesn't make it right. Just because someone tells me what I did or want to do is wrong, doesn't make them judgmental. It is the way of the world. It is the way that God intended it. And that is a hard lesson to learn. I don't think society has learned it yet, and the farther they go from God, the less likely it will be learned.

More on this later...I think.

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