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God’s Laws are for Our Benefit

The other day, I was going about and around in the wide world, and I chanced upon a group of children, playing merrily in a field. But as I looked, I saw that the field was a large area of wild grass not very far from the edge of a cliff, a very high cliff that fell down a great way to (I could hardly see without myself falling into it) the sea! Were the children unattended, I wondered? No, they were not, because not far away was an oldish man, and clearly the man had great regard for the children, and was much concerned. Indeed, as I watched, he built a strong, high, fence around the children, walling them in, as it were. All seemed well now, secure; safe. But after a while, some of the children started complaining about the fence – they could see outside it, the wide world appearing bright and blue-skied, and all seeming very dazzling and alluring. Soon, the “some” came to include more and more of the children, and the complaints and moans grew louder. In particular, they grumbled about the old man. Clearly, his one purpose and intention was to spoil their fun, to prevent them enjoying the pleasures which, they could see, lay so richly and accessibly beyond the wretched fence; awful man! Then, the grumbling grew, and the complaining rose and swelled, and before long the cross words inevitably led to actions. One or two of the noisier children asked why on earth they all had to listen to the man – what business was it of his what they chose to do? Indeed, they could choose anything for themselves. Who did it hurt? Weren’t they free agents? Didn’t they have rights? And of course, the actions took an obvious form: first one, then another, started to climb over the fence – and soon, many were climbing. At last, they would have the freedom that so obviously belonged to them. And yes, the fence itself started to break under the strain of all the climbing children, and after a few sections had fallen, the remainder was too weak to stand, and inevitably collapsed. Then I noticed a curious thing, and some of the children obviously did too: the old man did not seem to be about. (Perhaps he had done his work, making the fence, and then gone away … or maybe not – for the children, or some of them at least, started suggesting he’d never really been there in the first place). Whether he was there or not, the fence lay in ruins. Many of the children had forgotten it entirely, forgotten that it had been there; others still remembered about the cruel man, whose only intention had been to prevent their pleasure.

You will realise what happened. I watched, horrified – but nothing could be done – as the children madly rushed out into the “wonderful” world they’d spied – and several disappeared, falling down the cliff into the sea. Many followed, despite what had obviously happened to the others. I looked down, as carefully as I might, and there, at the bottom of the cliff – horror of horrors! – a strange sea monster rose from the waves, and ate them all up. 

February 2016