My Dad’s Advice

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(This is a picture I took at a shop in Lil’ Gasparilla Island in the Fall of 2013.)

S (Scripture): Psalm 119:161 Rulers pursue me for no reason, yet I am more afraid of disobeying your instructions.
119:162 I rejoice in your instructions, like one who finds much plunder.

O (Observation): God’s people are in a serious, covenant relationship with God, thanks to God reaching out to Abraham many generations ago. Part of the work of setting God’s people apart from the rest of the world was to establish laws. These laws were sort of like boundary markers. If you were “of God,” then you would live life a bit differently than the rest of the world; you would live according to these laws.

The Psalmist discusses how earthly enemies are no match against this God who establishes these laws. These laws are to be obeyed, since these are a form of guidance.

A (Application): Just about every day, I have to tell my kids, “No.” Can we sleep in the living room? Can I buy my lunch? Can we get an XBox 1? Can I go to _____’s house (on a school night)? Can we get a shake instead of a drink for dinner?

I don’t love saying “no,” but what would be the best for them (and for my wife and me)?

I wonder at what point we realize that the laws and guidance we provide as mentors/parents is actually helpful? I know for me, as I sat in my fraternity house dorm room one day back in 1997 (or so), my dad’s advice was actually helpful : )

We were having a conversation about finances, and I felt like it was too late, that I’d made enough silly mistakes financially, that I couldn’t correct my course. I said, “That’s really good advice, dad, but it’s a little too late.” Perhaps sensing my distress, my dad said, “Good advice is never too late.” Whoa! Wisdom. And I actually felt in my heart that the correction my dad was offering was sound advice.

Are you happy about the laws and guidance given by the Lord? Are you upset with God? Are you happy with God?

May The Lord’s guidance and laws bring a sense to you that you belong to God, now and forever. Amen.

P (Prayer): Lord of Life, you bring a strong hand and a Spirit that protects, guides, and corrects. May we receive each of these actions of the Spirit with a sense of awe and joy. Amen.

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