I used to think I knew the rules. If you were nice to other people, they were nice to you. If you took care of your family, they took care of you. If you worked hard at your job, your job was loyal to you, and if you paid your taxes and stopped at crosswalks and said your prayers, things were even better. It was simple.
I’m not exactly sure when it became the complex, almost undefined structure that it is today. I’m not sure when we threw the old rules out and decided to make new rules, or is it no rules? Whatever it is, it makes everything from building a life to building a business a lot tougher. It makes foundations seem shaky and everything uncertain. As much as it might have been hard at times to play by the rules, it at least provided a guideline, a place to go to figure things out. Today, what are those foundations? What can we count on?
Back in the 70s, Prudential suggested that we might “get a piece of the rock.” Actually, that was a good idea. But where is the rock? Is it in your investment portfolio? Is it in your health? Is it in the car you drive, the house you own, or the job you hold? Those may be stepping stones, but even so, they can easily wash away. So where else? A company can seem “rock” solid one day, but lay off three hundred employees the next when the bottom line suffers. It’s funny to think how fast things can go from the “rock” to “rocky.”
So how do we survive the tremors and upheavals so we feel safe again? How do we define the rules in a new way? It seems to me that a partial answer comes from the One who made the rocks and even the rules to begin with. The foundation stone is still rock solid. It may seem to be covered in the clouds of anxiety, but perhaps it’s leveling out and actually becoming more clear. Perhaps our Creator is reminding us that all those things that He allows us to have, the gifts of life and living, the moments of joy, the ways to prosper and grow, they all come from just one place. They aren’t built on an insurance premium, a job title, or a great retirement portfolio. They are built on a rock that never changes, even when we do. That’s assurance! That’s worth getting a piece of. That’s where peace resides.
So when you go out and about today, stepping over the rules of yesterday and programming the new ones into your cell phone or your IPOD, don’t forget to program your true support system. Everything about you matters to the One who made you. Everything about your life IS relevant and meaningful and intentionally designed. The rules are still simple then. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and Love your neighbor as yourself.” Those are the real rules, the ones you can successfully play by. Those rules will never change no matter what the world looks like around you. So, go on. Get a piece of the rock for yourself, because with it you’ll always stand on a firm foundation.
Isn’t it wonderful how the “real” rules always have something to do with LOVE?