throw out the rulebook


I will praise you with an upright heart
    as I learn your righteous laws. Psalm 119:7

It has been a fabulously, on the edge of the seat, nail-biting ride, these last couple of years, culminating in the throwing out of the rule-book earlier this year to which I had anchored myself for over forty years.

This in itself caused problems, being free from the rules meant I was without rules for the first time ever. If you have lived by a set of rules, to not have them, brings with it freedom – yes, but also the responsibility. I missed that bit for a short time.

I knew it meant change, I just didn’t know how the change would be shaped, what it would smell like, how would it feel. I rested, waiting for the change to happen, whilst being exhilarated by the possibilities.

The rules that I lived by, were ever-changing: what was okay one day was berated the next, the rules were dependent on an unstable rulemaker. Hilariously I joined a writing class with this rulemaker two years ago, just for one session and in a free writing or stream of consciousness writing I wrote about the “Throne of Rule”. My rulemaker didn’t get it (big surprise) and I wasn’t consciously making a parallel to my own life. Only now in hindsight can I see and smile wryly.

I found my new rule-book, sure I had it on my table in front of me. My bible. All the rules I ever need are there, they don’t change with the wind, with society, with the foibles of humans. The rules are there.

My favourite rules are TO LOVE and TO GO. There is such beautiful fragrant freedom in those two rules. To love everyone, including yourself, means to see everyone as equal, equally loved. The junkie in the park. The heiress in the mansion. The abattoir worker. The bus conductor. The child… My friend K D… All are loved equally. All are capable of love. All can accept this wonderful love.

When you think or know you have messed up, all you have to do is go back to scripture and see if the rules apply. The rules are unchangeable. They are part of the Lord. They are part of the Word of God. They are righteous, just and truthful.

As I learn more about scripture, more about the rules I adjust my behaviour. A breakthrough occurred this week, in a group of people. I didn’t conform, I didn’t go with the crowd for fear of appearing odd, very quietly I stated I wouldn’t be joining in, I wouldn’t partake in the event, I didn’t give my reasoning. The people there assumed it was faith thing, not an addiction thing, not a past behaviour thing. Just as an alcoholic who cannot touch liquor, I cannot begin on a slippery slope for me.

The Lord wants more for me, he wants more from me. I submit to him alone and he gives me the strength to say “I won’t” and “I will”. His rules are priceless, his words are the law. He has given me discernment so I can know what is right for me to do for Him. I may be living on the edge of my seat but Lord, what a ride you are giving me.