We have a lot of false traditions in our society. Some are silly but some are deadly. Why do we do the things we do? The answer could be because that was what was handed down to us from our parents or because our society has shaped our thoughts. It reminds me of the story of the ham. I don't remember the exact details but you'll get the point. The story goes something like this.
A young girl was watching her mother prepare dinner. Included in the meal was a ham. The young girl watched as the the mother cut off the ends of each side of the ham before she put it in the oven. The young girl asked her mother why she cut the ends off. The mother replied that she didn't know only that her mother at done it so she continued the tradition. When opportunity presented itself the young girl asked her grandmother why she cut the ends of the ham. The grandmother replied that she didn't know only that she did it because her mother had done it and so she had done as her mother. The young girl was fortunate to still have her great-grandmother living and so she asked her. The great grandmother replied that she cut the ends of the ham because the pan she used wasn't big enough to hold the whole ham.This story illustrates to me how there are things in our life we do with out thinking why we do them. I have been thinking and challenging some of things in my life. Are they just traditions; and if so are they true or false traditions? I believe coming closer to Christ necessitates us evaluating in our life whether we are participators in false traditions.
Here are some silly things I've noticed:
- I put the laundry soap in after I put the clothes in the wash machine. Why? That's what my mom did. Did you know the directions on the laundry box said to add it to the water first before the clothes?
- I have a drawer of junk. There isn't junk anywhere else in the house, but I have a junk drawer. Every one has a junk drawer right?
- We always mow our lawn in a circle. Why not a line or a diagonal? I know others do.
- I feel the need to reward my children with "little junks" from the Dollar Store or candy for good behavior. Or what about when they have done their chores? See this post from my friend Heather about rewards. What about allowance? Is that creating family unity? Or individualism? Our kids get an allowance so they can tithing and practice saving. What if they just helped us pay our tithing and pay our bills instead? I don't know I'm just asking. Peace.
- We think we need a bigger house, a better car, more clothes, more, more, better, better... why? See this post from my friend the Lara, formerly the Lazy Organizer. She is now a minimalist. Read about her house ideas.
- What about that TV? Why do we need it to babysit our kids? Why did I (I've changed) feel that I was entitled to a relax/wind down with a movie every night? Read my friend The Misfit Cygnet's thoughts here and here.
- I've also been thinking a lot about organized team sports. Are they good or can they distract us? Read this post by my friend Rebekah about this subject.
- Food. Grrr. Too many posts to link here. But my cousin (wink wink) Rebecca has some good thoughts about food. Read her post here, it's after the home schooling thoughts in the post. Why are we embarrassed when we start feeding our children good food? We don't seem defensive when we feed them chicken nuggets, hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, pizza, etc. Interesting huh? About that microwave. I hear report after report about how I am slowing killing my family by using the microwave. Why do I still have it then? Because life is easier with a microwave. Death...convience...death....convenience...Why is the choice so hard? Sigh.
- I think I feel like I need to over decorate. I don't because I'm lazy, but I feel like I'm suppose to have cute stuff all around that displays my talents (I don't have them though). You know dollies, reupholstered furniture, flower arrangements, modge podge pictures of the Proclamation done 12 different ways, embroidered pillows.... Why? They just cost money, they cause brain-pain (at least for me), they must be taken care of (do you know I don't like dusting?), and they take up space. I think perhaps I need to be okay with some empty space. Things just are distracting and cause me to not think about spiritual things. I have learned to love empty bowls since reading this post from the amazing Mrs. Smith, whom I have not met, but am assured that I must meet soon along with her great commenting husband Mr. Smith.
- Another false tradition that I see sometimes creeping into my life is that I feel I'm entitled to my own time. I'm entitled to more time. I'm entitled to not be waiting on others so they aren't wasting my time. Since when did I have any time really anyway? Shouldn't I be thinking in terms of others? Shouldn't I be thinking about what God wants me to do with my time? I think I've been duped for a long time that I'm entitled to more time than I should have. Here are my lovely friend Karen's thoughts on time, also read the comments at the end of this blog post especially noting the comments from the blogger Tricia.
- Women's Swimwear. Here are some thoughts from another blogger on The Cottage at Pollywog Pond about modest swim wear.
- Free N' Equal always pricks me hard with her posts. She has a couple that challenge what we read. How much bad in a book is still okay? What about if a good person wrote it? Here's her thoughts on Twilight.
- Music. Lest I start on another tirade with music I'll post Chocolate on My Cranium's thought. (I'll meet you some day, right?)
- Should women wear skirts more and what about public parks? This was one of my favorite posts this summer from Buzy Bee. Another good article along the same lines from Joyful Saint.
- One mistake our society has I think is that we think "teenagers" should be entitled to never ending social situations in which to play and have fun. My cyber friend Celeste is raising young adults as opposed to teenagers and she says this.
- I stay up later than I should because of the wonderful invention of electricity and lights. All activities in the evening start at 7 or 8. That means that we are out later and up later. It is hard to follow the counsel "retire to they bed early...."
- Why must I always fill silence with noise? I know people that always have to have the radio (music or talk radio)or the TV on for background noise. Okay I was one of them. I didn't think it was possible to fold the laundry or do anything unless I had some nice sweet music playing. What about that pump up music for working out? I have learned since I dumped the noise, even the good things and the nice uplifting things, that I'm able to feel the Spirit more. I feel more holiness and more peace. This brings greater strength and fulfilment than anything else. I only occasionally listen to light classical music now. I'll play hymn arrangements for an hour or so every couple of weeks on Sunday.
What will the fall bring?