Sunday, September 25, 2011

Simon says, "Set the table!"

"Abraham obeyed Me 
and did everything I required of him, 
keeping My commands, 
My decrees and My instructions."
Genesis 26:5

I had a disagreement with my family today.  Well, actually, I just became very aware of an already existing disagreement.  Not fighting, mind you, just disagreeing.

You see, it's my job to run the house.  Not the people in the house necessarily, but the house.  That means making sure there are clean dishes, and that everyone has clean underwear.  It also includes keeping the clutter from piling up, making sure the bathrooms are clean, and helping everyone be wherever they need to be, on time.  And it all has to be done with an eye to efficiency, and economy.  So in order for all this to run as smoothly as possible, there has to be a system, and tools:  laundry baskets and hangers; a scrub-brush and a dishwasher; a calendar and pen; a schedule; and lots of communication and cooperation.

And here's where there's room for disagreement.  Since our home is my workplace, it is also a source of pride for me.  So in order to do my very best, I have created systems that are efficient and logical.   Put your dirty dishes directly into the dishwasher, or fill them with water so the food won't harden...  If the sink is full, dirty dishes should go on that side of the counter, so that we can keep this side from getting cluttered...  Bring out your dirty laundry once a week, along with your empty hangers...  Put leftovers in Tupperware so we can have them for lunch later this week...  And for heaven's sake, someone help me eat the leftovers so they won't go to waste!  
This is several years ago, but how cute is this helpful little boy?
... Put your schoolbooks away as soon as we're done, so the dining room table will be clean for dinner...  Refill your water bottle so it's ready for you to use...  Keep the pen for the calender attached to the calendar so it's handy...  This drawer is for the "good" kitchen towels; use the other ones for drying off the dog...

Etcetera, etcetera.... If you're a mom, you know what I mean.  Or maybe even if you're a dad.  Or an employer.  Or a teacher.  Or a coach.

But just because something seems like the "right" way to me, doesn't mean that it's the only right way, or even that it's right.  Yes, they could go along with me and all my "systems," and frankly, a lot of the time, they do.  But they are not me.  My sweet husband, the Apple of my Eye, is a grown man with his own responsibilities.  My kids ~ whom I may have mentioned a time or two are Awesome and Amazing ~ are a big help to me, and by helping me, they are learning how a home can run smoothly.  But when they have homes of their own, they might very well have routines that are different, but just as efficient, in their own way.

The only One who knows what's right, is God.  He is the Judge, of each and of all of us.  Some of His commands to us are clear and unmistakeable:  Thou shalt not commit adultery.  But others are open to interpretation.  What does it mean to "keep holy the Sabbath"?  You and I might answer that question differently.

The Pharisees had a whole lot of rules, most of which didn't come from God.  "Woe to you, who load people down with burdens they can hardly carry!"  (Luke 11:46)   My family does support me, a lot of the time, in my efforts to support them.  And I need to respond with grace the times they don't "meet my expectations".  I need to remember words like "flexibility," and "individuality".   I need to allow Him to judge by His standards.  And I need to remember that if I expect to be a recipient of forgiveness and understanding, I need to be a giver of them.

~ "In the same way you judge others, 
you will be judged,
and with the measure you use, 
it will be measured to you" ~
Matthew 7:2

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