The right kind of rule-breaking
Originally appeared on spirituality.com
I played a board game with friends recently where you’re asked “yes” or “no” questions about how you’d react to any number of situations. One of the questions was, “It’s late at night and you’re in your car, stopped at a red light in the middle of nowhere. No cars are around and the light is taking a long time to change. Do you run it?” If you asked me that question a few years ago, my answer might have been, “Sure, no harm in that.”
There was a time in my life when I thought I had it all figured out. I enjoyed a fair amount of success in school and sports. Confidence in my abilities was bolstered, and this attitude led to some disregard of rules. There was never malicious intent; I just didn’t see how certain rules applied to me. For example, my friend and I used to climb abandoned buildings or water towers because it seemed fun and adventurous. It may sound trivial, but in doing these things, I was sneaking out at night, trespassing on private property and generally speaking, hanging out in places I shouldn’t have been.
I feel now that these activities were actually cries for a little more humility in my life. As I grew to recognize humility as more of a strength than a weakness, my bravado faded to the background. I became a little meeker. It didn’t all happen over night, but as I started valuing qualities such as kindness, honesty, integrity and purity, a quiet calmness started to settle into my consciousness. A new desire to be obedient, unselfish, and service-oriented grew.
Shifting my perspective from a “me-centered” life to one with God at the center was the first step. And it continues to require a yielding of my own will to God’s gentle law. I’m finding that getting to know more about Jesus’ teachings is leading to a greater sense of true meekness.
Jesus’ life was an amazing example of humility. He constantly showed people how to put God at the center of their lives and he understood his unity with God. He demonstrated this understanding with an unmatched healing record; by walking across the water and even moving from the middle of a lake to the shore in an instant. You could definitely say that Jesus was a rule breaker! He broke countless physical laws and healed multitudes when some Pharisees considered it inappropriate. And yet, he was always obedient to God.
Jesus’ example and teachings show me that the physical laws of matter are subordinate to the spiritual laws of God. And Christian Science, fully explained in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, helps people learn how those laws of God are universally available for everyone. Applying these spiritual laws, through prayer, can heal any situation, whether it involves sickness, sin, disease, or even death. It’s encouraging to me that Jesus expected you and me to be spiritual healers, too. He said, “he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do”. This also indicates that the divine laws that Jesus understood and proved practical were not for some elite individuals or just for a past period in history.
I like Jesus’ statement, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”. To me, this is a sure sign that a clear sense of obedience assists in spiritual healing. And that obedience and humility are actually freeing, not restrictive.
I’ve also given some specific thought to what it means to follow the laws of the land. In the Bible, someone once asked Jesus what he thought about paying a tax to Caesar, the occupational ruler at the time. He simply said, “render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s”. To me, Jesus is teaching us to be humble and honest in our daily lives, but also to recognize ourselves as presently and spiritually perfect, as a reflection of God, and to keep that reality firmly established in our thoughts. When you pray scientifically along these lines, your thoughts become more attuned to what divine intelligence knows. The result is an outgrown focus on materiality and a fuller expression of God or good in your life.
To stand up and rebel can actually have a liberating outcome. I’ve found it all depends on what I’m rebelling against. Why not rebel against anything that hinders our increased spirituality, whether it’s the false authority of the physical senses, or the dishonesty involved in running a red light? That kind of rule-breaking is much more radical and rewarding than anything else.
Science and Health