Monday, March 29, 2004

My friend Peter 


I like Peter Rabbit--for all the wrong reasons!

You see, I identify with him, especially the fact that he gets into so much mischief. Although a first-born, I have a strong craving for risk. The moral fabric of my soul is frayed from the constant battle I wage between the desire to obey the rules and my spirit of adventure.

If one were choosing role models, Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail--Peter's siblings--should be the obvious choices. After all, because they are "good" and obedient, they get the bread and milk and blackberries for supper while Peter gets none. Plus, their cute little bunny outfits stay clean and neat while Peter's gets stranded all over Mr. McGregor's garden. Even though they are the ones the story honors, their lives seem droll and drab, lacking fun and interest.

The story highlights Peter's misadventures in Mr. McGregor's garden to tell us the moral of the story--"See what happens to those who disobey?" My response? "Okay. But I still want to join Peter for tomorrow's escapade."

The nagging question that emerges from Peter's story is, "What kind of person would I be had I obeyed my parents 100% of the time?" Strange as it may sound, disobedience has been a better teacher than obedience in my life. Instead being "obedient" like Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail, who were "good little bunnies," it was the times I was squeezing myself under Mr. McGregor's gate that have taught me most about myself.

Is God asking me to lead a life of total obedience? Is that the kind of existence that awaits me as a follower?

  • When God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son in a pagan ritual was God asking for total obedience or was he asking Abraham to argue/converse with Him as Abraham had done many times before?
  • When God placed the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden was His hope for obedience or a conversation about why the knowledge of good and evil would lead to death?
  • When the lost son returns and Father throws a massive party, it is, ironically, the "obedient" older brother whose heart has turned to stone. The older son, for all his "obedience" has not experienced what a relationship with his father could mean. So, what good was his obedience? This seems to be the question the story ends with.

100% obedience doesn't sound like the life God asks me to live. It doesn't sound as whole and healthy as it once did.

Lord may I not wonder so far as to lose my way home.

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