30 June 2009

Give Me A New Law

While helping Bergen get dressed one recent morning, I experienced a momentary lack of sanity.

I asked this four year old boy, "What do you want to wear?"

Well, Hawkeye wasn't exactly sure what he wanted to wear, but he had a pretty good handle on what he did not want to wear.

The conversation went almost just like this . . .

"How about this shirt, son?"

"Ummm, too many buttons. "

"What about this one?"

"Too big."

We finally picked a shirt that was neither too big nor featuring too many buttons.

On to the shorts. (I was already in this deep, I just kept right on digging deeper.)

"The zipper doesn't work."

"They always fall off."

"I don't like dangling strings."

And then, my favorite response.

"Those shorts are too buckly-strappy."

Okay, son. You're going to wear these shorts. Don't say anything else please.

It was my own fault for asking, I know. Normally I just set out his clothes and he puts them on. On very special occasions, I let him pick out his outfit entirely without my presence nearby. (And by "very special occasions" I mean days when I am too tired to be concerned about his clothing and we have absolutely no plans to leave our home.)

At any rate, the boy was overwhelmed with choices. His options were seemingly endless. So many shirts from which to choose. And with every choice, the possibility of a better option was just around the corner.

Just like our own lives - isn't it?

Overwhelmed by options.

Is this the correct path? Should I take that job/ spend that much money on this computer/ marry that person/ quit volunteering on Tuesdays/ drink a beer with my friends/ move to that house/ confront my co-worker/ let my kid attend that event/ wear the blue t-shirt?

What's best for me? Which is the right choice to make?

This is the precise point in my own life where I wish I heard that audible voice from the sky. The voice that says, clearly and without stuttering, "Go this way." And maybe even a big neon flashing finger pointing east or west would help. (Okay, even a small whisper would suffice.)

But then we wouldn't have free will, now would we?

But we always want the easy way. At least , I always want the easy way.

The hard way is . . . well . . . hard.

Examining a situation. Reading the Bible for answers and guidance. Seeking out wise friends and leaders. Being willing to decide something contrary to what mainstream culture promotes. Pursuing truth even when it hurts.

That's hard.

Using our minds and our experiences and other's counsel to determine our way is just plain painful sometimes.

And it is our nature to avoid what hurts us.

Sometimes we just want God to lay down the law. Because following a rule is usually easier than discovering truth and then acting upon it.

"A New Law" - Derek Webb

Don't teach me about politics and government.

Just tell me who to vote for.

Don't teach me about truth and beauty.

Just label my music.

Don't teach me how to live like a free man.

Just give me a new law.

I don't wanna know if the answers aren't easy.

So just bring it down from the mountain to me.

I want a new law.

Don't teach me about moderation and liberty.

I prefer a shot of grape juice.

Don't teach me about loving my enemies.

Don't teach me how to listen to the Spirit.

Just give me a new law.

What's the use in trading a law you can never keep

For one you can that cannot get you anything?

Do not be afraid.


  1. ...I remember that day -- I was faced with the task of getting him to wear his clothes...right after he awakened from his nap. It went swimmingly.

  2. Ahhhh, but if we were just told what to do and followed it without question would we learn anything? maybe.... just maybe we would learn that God has good things in store for us when we obey and maybe we would learn trust and maybe we would learn that His ways are higher than our ways (I thing you have quoted that verse in Isaiah before!) Who knows?