Thursday, February 05, 2009

Breaking Rules

Alright, who's a rule breaker? I mean, who loves to break stupid, arbitrary, unneeded rules? There's plenty of them.

Illinois, where I live, is known for high profile rule breakers. Just google Blagoevich and see what you come up with. But there's some laws on the books in our state that you'd love to see someone break.

I read that someplace in Illinois that fishing while sitting on a giraffe's neck is against the law. Personally, I'd love to see giraffe neck fishing become an Olympic sport.

Another law forbids eating in a place that is on fire. That ticks me off. It's one of my most favorite things to do.

In one area it is illegal to drink beer out of a bucket while sitting on the curb. Could you drink beer if you were sitting on a giraffe?

Dumb laws, stupid rules. You wonder how stupid rules came into being. What happened to a giraffe one day that caused someone to get so upset that they felt they had to make a law, make a rule?

We live in a culture that loves to sue. That's at the root of some stupid laws. Some municipality pays a hefty dollar amount in a law suit and voila comes a law.

I understand the need for rules, order, and laws. But sometimes I like to go up the down staircase.

There's rules that need to be broken.

Martin Luther King broke rules. It was the only way to get people's attention.

Ghandi, a great fan of Jesus, broke rules. It was the only way to get people to notice.

Billy Graham stretched the rules and his crusades became integrated.

Corrie ten Boom broke the rules. She saved people's lives.

Henri Nouwen broke the rules about what an upwardly mobile life should look like and left a legacy.

Gotta admire Rosa Parks. She broke some rules and helped break the back of injustice.

I have a bit of the 'rebel' in me. It's not about going up the down staircase or fishing from a giraffe's neck. Oh, it used to be. But now I think there's better rules to break.

That's why I admire men and women throughout history who decided to make a point by standing up against stupid rules. But they all paid some price. They had to count the cost.

Sometimes I wonder if we don't need to pray up a whole new generation of rule breakers. Godly men and women who will help the church and the culture as a whole to quit doing business as usual and challenge the status quo, break a few rules, take a stand and become a prophetic voice.

My hero is Jesus. He was a rule breaker. That's why some of the religious types didn't like him. He paid the price. The power elite got even. Or so they thought.

Just on a purely human level, Jesus must have inspired his generation. He took aim against hypocrisy, against man-made stupidity, against anything that kept His people from falling in love with His father and acting with justice, mercy and compassion towards others.. Standing up, breaking the rules, challenging authority was a brave act, an audacious move towards freedom.

So, anyone want to go fishing? I found this giraffe.

More importantly, anyone want to live life boldly. I found this man. His name's Jesus. I've got to tell you His story. He broke rules. More importantly, He offers life.


Karen Bushy said...

The bigger issue and the greater questions is "Why is it so hard to get Christians to make a difference in government?" I was involved in government at one level or another for 26 years, and probably one of the most difficult on-going chores was to get a Christian to get involved. I could "write a book" with all the excuses I heard over time.

We are very good at whining to one another or clucking our tongues about the issue du jour, but when faced with the need to really make a difference, we are generally too busy doing church work to do God's work; and yes, I believe government is God's work.

We get the goverment we deserve. I would submit that if you were to ask any of the groups you are involved with when is the last time any of them communicated a concern about (or support for!) an issue - whether national, state or local, I would be stunned if more than one bothered to raise their hand.

The current conscience-salving fad is to sign an electronic petition. Oh, please! And you really think that matters to a person in office? Do you know how easy it is for one person sitting at their computer with their can of JOLT to produce an electronic petition? They are really meaningless and they falsely leave the hapless participant with the feeling that they've "done something".

Government won't change until YOU change it! and when you depend on someone ELSE to effect that change, well, we're seeing the difference between making new rules and following those new rules, aren't we?

Mike said...

I agree that too many sit back or merely trade e-mails. We've become too complacent.

Years ago I did a research paper in college. One of the discoveries was that a vocal minority made the Revolutionary War happen.

Nothing good happens until good people start to act. As individuals, we have some self-examination to do. And then we need to move into the arts, government, school systems, etc..

As Christians we are compelled out of our love for Christ to act.

Good thoughts. Thanks for taking the time to share your point of view.

Pat said...

Karen and Mike, you both have served in government in various capacities, honorably and courageously honoring the needs of your communities. Karen served as Mayor/President of our village for years and likely had many other elected roles in associations over the years.... Mike, you may not be "elected" but you serve from the pulpit and with breakthrough. I think that we all need to reshape the idea of "serving" or "changing" government. I try to do so every day in my little sphere of influence and to the best of my capacity. I did give four years to serving as an elected official, and I have to admit, I wasn't very keen on it since I think it takes a very long-sited individual who has years in the community, many differing opinionated friends, and a certain wisdom that I doubt any of us gain until after some battle scars. I am sure that government is God's work, but I think some are so disenfranchised with the stalemates and bitter arguments and falsehoods that it has become a shameful business. Frankly, I wonder if Jesus would step into some of the acrimonious, sanctimonious and/or deceitful conversations. I think he would tap God on the shoulder and say, "Turn them all into pillars of salt...they cannot be saved." I am not complacent about it all though. I study each candidate and vote with care, I voice my opinion in a "Ben Franklin" congenial way, and I plan for a future that may require departure from Salt City.

Bert Savarese said...

I have met some wonderful Christians who have fantastic stories of how God used them, changed their lives and made his presence known in the most profound way - but that small still voice, by his Word, sometimes an audible voice and in meeting these people I thought I would put a video together of these folks telling about their experience with God. So far I have a pastor who used to be in homosexuality (30 yrs) and his wife who tells the other side of the struggle to deal with it - but through God's amazing, amazing Grace has come full circle. They have started a group for those who struggle with unwanted same sex attraction & for family members to share their concerns and information of homosexuality/lesbianism, Also a crazy-for-God friend who was freed from a gambling addiction; a young man in church service who obeyed the Holy Spirit telling him to reach outto the women in the pew in front of him.... his hand resting on her shoulder was a healing from an illness that her doctor had said she had a 25% chance of recovery, and I am still looking for others who don't mind being filmed, identified, and the video being shown in church and hopefully to the local prison population.

This, of course, is not about the government but it is about standing up for Jesus! My desire is to make a video of people whose experience show the Jesus that wants to be part of your life....