This weekend, Riley came for a visit.
At home, Riley is allowed on the couch. When Riley comes to stay, he doesn't understand that the rules may be different. Since my furniture isn't known for its high quality (or cleanliness), I let Riley on the couch.
Tilly, is NOT allowed on the furniture. However, when Riley comes to visit, I let her on the couch too, because the moment Riley leapt onto the couch, she did the same thing. It irks her enough that the cats are allowed and she is not, but definitely if another dog gets up there and she can't. With Riley back to his owner, it's back on the floor (littered with dog bed options) for Tilly.
Left to her own devices, Tilly's decisions on what is allowed for house living would be very different from mine. The same goes for the cats, though their sneaky ways means they break the rules when I'm not looking.
Have you ever looked at life and wondered, "how am I supposed to do this?" "Is there a better way?" There are times when I veer off course, and I can sense it. But how do I know what is "on" course? God's word was valued as a gift when it was first given to the Israelites because they thought, "FINALLY, we know how to live!" Maybe we think the Bible is a list of rules, but it is far from it. It's an Owners Manual for life. God has our safety in mind, and wants us to live happily and freely. And those "rules" keep us safe. If we choose not to keep them, it doesn't mean God hates us as much as it means, He allows us to make choices that may cause us harm (and others).
The Good News is there is forgiveness that lasts eternally. To get it, we have to run to God. His arms are open to us, assuring us that his Son took the punishment, and when we trust this truth, a whole new world is available to us. That world means our present life is better, but our everlasting one is even better.