Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Forbidden Electrical Cords

I’m learning a lot from my 8 month old.

“Claire, with anything in the living room you may play…but with the electrical cords you may not play, for the day you play with them you will surely get in trouble.”

I’m really not trying to deprive my child of anything good. I have set out baby proof toys, kitchen utensils, books – anything I could think of that she might enjoy getting into. I have things in boxes and bags and on shelves all over the living room so she can enjoy her sense of discovery as she pulls things out and throws them on the floor. I love watching her play.

But the one thing that she is not allowed to play with is the electrical cords.

I cannot remove the cords because they are necessary for the functioning of our everyday lives. They are the one thing in the living room that incur a resounding and consistent “No!” from Spencer and myself when Claire reaches for them. The cords are forbidden for Claire’s own good. It is dangerous for her to play with them, and besides, there are so many other good things that she could play with all around her.

So why is it that they are Claire’s favorite object of interest? Why is it that every time I turn around, she is crawling toward the one thing that is forbidden, the one thing that could cause her harm?

“Child, of any tree in this garden you may eat, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you may not eat – for in the day you eat of it, you will surely die.”

Why is it that Adam and Eve were captivated by the one fruit they were not allowed to have – the one fruit that would usher death into this world? Why is it that every day we choose the one thing that God has forbidden? Why is sin so appealing? If only we truly knew and appreciated the Father’s character, understanding that anything He has forbidden is not a withholding of something good, but an avoidance of danger and harm and tragedy.

Claire doesn’t understand my intentions yet. Honestly, she doesn’t even understand the word “no”, but we’re working on that.

Maybe my proclivity toward sin demonstrates that I don’t truly understand my Father’s intentions. The more I seek Him, the more intimately I know Him, the better I will understand that when He says “no”, it is for my good.

“Do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent His rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, as a father the son he delights in.” Proverbs 3:11-12