Monday, June 28, 2010

please don't touch.

Please don’t touch. What is it about that phrase that makes it so appealing? Am I the only one that struggles with this? Last night we were at the movie theater at Jen’s apartment building for Bible study and there, written in big bold letters, were the words, “Please do not touch the screen.” I don’t have a weird obsession with touching things, but reading that really made me want to touch it! Why? Who knows?! I can’t imagine it being much different than any other movie screen and I’ve never had a desire to get up before or after a movie in the theater to feel the screen. There was just something so enticing about that phrase. Why can’t you touch it? What happens if you do? What’s the big deal anyways?

This isn’t the first time I’ve been tempted by such a phrase. I remember quite vividly going to the Smithsonian in 8th grade where there were signs galore to keep our hands off of the glass. And you wanna know the first thing I did when I walked in there? Touched the glass! Only to be embarrassed (and slightly alarmed) by the sirens that went off. And that was not my only offense. I remember a babysitting experience where my cousins and I were left alone and told not to play with the candles. I’m pretty sure we had no intentions of “playing” with candles, but no sooner had our adult supervision left the room before we were pulling out matches. Even in the Holy Land I just HAD to pick one of those olive branches. And I’m even just as guilty with little things like overeating sweets. If my mom had a dollar for every time she told me to only have one piece and I indulged in a second…and later had a tummyache…she would be a millionaire. Oh, and remember THIS little accident with the ice sculptures at the National Harbor?

I’ve never really thought of myself struggling with self-control until a trip to the MET this summer. I walked in and the guard stared right at me and said, “Don’t touch the object.” Hey pal, I didn’t touch anything…yet. Did he know? Do I have some sort of museum reputation?

Anyways, there is a point to this post. The relation to self-control and my life…I wonder if that was what it was like for Eve? I mean, part of me can’t blame her. I probably would have wanted to eat a forbidden fruit too. I’ve been reading through “Lies Women Believe” with the same girls I did Tuesday Bible study with in the Spring and I highly recommend the book. One particular thing that Nancy Lee DeMoss said struck a cord with me, especially in terms of self-control…

When speaking about Eve, she writes, “Over and over again, the Scripture teaches that God’s laws are for our good and protection. Obedience is the pathway to freedom. But Satan places in our minds the idea that God’s laws are burdensome, unreasonable, and unfair, and that if we obey Him we will be miserable. In the Garden, he caused Eve to focus on the one limitation God had placed on her.”

The crazy thing is, an obedient life is simple! For everything you “can’t,” “shouldn’t,” or “don’t” do there are a million things you can, should, and are able to do! God calls us to an abundant life, not a bunch of rules. Those “rules” are there to help us and protect us. I think often times we get so stuck on what we can’t have that we forget what we can. Why did I feel the need to play with candles when I had a million other toys? Or touch a stupid piece of glass when there were so many things to see? Or eat another piece of cake when I was already stuffed? Why do we do any of those selfish sinful things? No wonder my mom kept me so close in expensive stores.

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