Happily engrossed in playing with my dolls on the front room floor, I was oblivious to my Dad entering the room and placing his watch on the mantle. Sharply, he called my attention to it.
He declared, “I am leaving the room for a few minutes, and I do not want you to touch this watch, because the glass face is broken.” He continued, punctuating each word, “Do… not… take… your… finger …and… move… the… hands, …because… they… will …fall …off …if… you… shift… them!”
Dad worked for the railroad and his watch was a valued possession. Each month he took it into the jewelers to be cleaned and checked in order to be certain that the time was absolutely accurate.
The stage had been set!! Here was a typical a five-year-old who, up to that precise moment, could care less about Dad’s watch. Next was a father giving explicit directions of what NOT to do as he was leaving the room. - - - Enter the devil.
The devil speaks so subtly to our minds, that we believe it to be our own thoughts. This particular day he was very active! He suggested that I just take a tiny peek at the watch.
My curiosity heightened! Carefully pulling a chair up to the mantle - - I could now touch the watch. Ever so gently, I moved the hands to see if they would fall off. They did!! ”Oh no!” I thought to myself, “Now I am in for it!”
What could I do? Softly re-placing the chair, I quietly tippy-toed back to the rug and set about playing with my dolls. I tried not to think about what might happen when my dad took notice.
My parents believed in corporal punishment for lying and for stealing, but most especially for direct disobedience. No matter how much I declared my innocence, my dad did not believe me, so the switch was applied.
This instance of my life reminds me of Adam and Eve in the garden. They were given only one ‘Thou Shalt Not,” and they could not keep it! Just one tiny bite was all it took. Their punishment was to leave the beautiful garden, doomed to toil and labor with the sweat of their brow in order to provide for them-selves.
Unfortunately, we have inherited the results of their disobedience: a nature that needs redemption, curiosity about sin, and hard work to care for our families.
When we hear the words, “Thou Shall Not,” we must understand that whatever the directive is, it is for our protection and in our best interest to heed the warning and stay away.
Yes - - and because God knows we are but flesh, He has given us the Holy Spirit to be our helper as we follow Jesus and seek to obey His commandment of Love.
This post was shared at the One Word Carnival. Please visit and view other great posts you will find there at: http://peterpollock.com/2011/08/childhood-blog-carnival/
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