A few months ago I bought an exercise bike. Why, you might ask? Simple. We needed somewhere else to hang our clothes.
Chloe and Cole are fascinated by the exercise bike, because to them, it looks like a bike. But they realize there’s something in its construction preventing it from being ridden anywhere.
Anyway, they are always climbing on it, standing on its frame or crouching beside it and spinning its pedals around and around.
I don’t want them near it. Not because I think they’ll get hurt, I just don’t want them to knock all my clothes on the floor.
So I told the two of them that they were not allowed on it. They were not allowed near it. They were not allowed to even touch it. Yet every day, several times a day, I have to remind them of the rule.
Today, I looked over and saw Chloe sitting on the bike.
“Chloe,” I said, “what’s the rule about the exercise bike?”
She hopped off.
“We’re not supposed to be on it,” she said.
She thought for a moment, then said, “Daddy, if you don’t want us on it, and we keep getting on it, why don’t you just make it go away?”
“Because,” I said, “I want you to learn to obey me.”
Her question and my answer have been on my mind ever since that discussion.
Why is it so important to me that she obey?
For one reason, I want her to obey me because I don’t want her to get hurt. Second, if she learns to obey me when I tell her to do something, hopefully she’ll learn to obey her heavenly father when he tells her to do something.
I want her to obey me because in obeying me, she grows in her understanding and matures in her behavior.
God could have made things a lot easier on us, on him and on Christ if, when sin entered the world, he just made it go away. But God wants us to obey him (John 14:15). He wants us to grow in our faith, understanding and relationship with him. He wants us to learn to trust him and follow his commands.
Had God removed sin from the world, we would not grow in our relationship with him as we rely on him in our daily struggle against it.
The Rev. Parrish Myers is a local minister living in Braselton. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.