Listen to the Mustn'ts, child,
listen to the Don'ts.
Listen to the Shouldn't,
the Impossibles, the Won'ts.
Listen to the Never Haves,
then listen close to me.
Anything can happen, child,
Anything can be.
from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein (1974)
When the world is giving you more than you think you can handle…
Therefore, after you have gotten rid of lying, Each of you must tell the truth to your neighbor because we are parts of each other in the same body. Be angry without sinning. Don’t let the sun set on your anger. Don’t provide an opportunity for the devil. Thieves should no longer steal. Instead, they should go to work, using their hands to do good so that they will have something to share with whoever is in need.
“Liar, liar, pants on fire!” I remember hearing this on the playground when I was a kid and thinking how funny it would be if someone’s jeans caught fire every time they told a lie. I often wish it were that easy to know when I’m hearing the truth or not – just look for the burning pants!
The world can feel full of lies sometimes. When we feel stressed out or frustrated, Jesus gives us new ways to focus our attention. Look around at the people you interact with each day. Is there a neighbor who could use your help? Is there a student at your school you could spend time getting to know? Can you get involved in a group that’s helping people in your community?
When the world makes you angry or sad, one of the best things to do is go out and do something good for someone else. Jesus fed people, listened to their stories, and spent time getting to know his neighbors. Let’s work on doing that, too.
God, give me enough courage, to be honest with myself and my neighbors. Give me enough strength to reach out to those in need. Give me enough love to share it generously.
Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The light and love of God is enough to conquer all darkness, hate, and fear.
Today, and every day, walk through your life trusting in the power of God’s love.