Not too long ago, I came home from work, and immediately sensed that something funny going on at the house. As the preparations were being made for the evening meal, I noticed that some of our finer plates and glasses were on the table, and my wife and daughters were looking at me and pointing at me, and speaking in hushed and whispered tones. Iâ€™m a little dense, but that looked suspicious.
When we were called to the table, I noticed a fine looking meal of Chow Mien, so far, nothing too out of the ordinary. That is until my wife announced we were going to eat this meal with chopsticks â€“ no spoons, forks allowed â€“ chopsticks.
From around the table there came mixed reactions. Some said â€œAll right!â€ and others were saying, â€œOh no!â€ I wonâ€™t tell you which one I was. The first few minutes of supper were spent giving chopstick lessons. And since â€“ since none of us were overly chopstick literate, it was a little like the blind leading the blind. However, it didnâ€™t take too long before we began catching on. A growling stomach is a powerful motivator. And Iâ€™m happy to report it only took me about twice the normal length of time to eat my portion.
One daughter though â€“ she finally gave up and she just began to cry, â€œI just canâ€™t do it!â€
The ultimate test of skill came though when my wife produced a Jell-O from the fridge that had not completely set up.
Now you have to â€“ you have to picture this: There we were, seven hungry people trying every conceivable way to pick up runny Jell-O with chopsticks.
My son finally gave up on the chopstick transfer system and just stuck his face on his plate. Me? â€“ I waited until everyone was distracted. Then I grabbed my spoon, and using my chopsticks as a plow, I filled my spoon with Jell-O, and in three quick bites it was gone.
I canâ€™t remember now whether I got full or just so disgusted I gave up. I do remember though that when I was done eating, my thumb and index finger were stiff and sore from working with the chopsticks. But hey, it was worth it! It was a great family memory.
Now the point: Sometimes in life, we are tempted to throw out the old conventional ways of doing things and try something new. And in many instances thatâ€™s good â€“ thatâ€™s a good thing to do â€“ because it pulls us out of our ruts and brings zest and adventure back to life. But â€“ when it comes to moral standards and the commandments of God, none of us have [has] lived long enough or grown smart enough to throw out the combined wisdom of the centuries and the omniscience of God. In other words, finding lasting happiness while breaking the commandments of God is as difficult as eating runny watermelon Jell-O with chopsticks.
â€œFolks,â€ to quote a friend of mine, â€œit just ainâ€™t gonna happen!â€
Glenn Rawson â€“ February 1998