There are so many silly, limiting, arbitrary rules in our society. I feel free to disregard them. Like traditions, they are only good if they continue to serve people, rather than vice versa. Like fashion rules...many seasons go by when the clothes that are in style look goofy on me. So I'll pass. Or unspoken hierarchical rules...that some people are worth more respect because they are famous or beautiful or rich. Silly.
Then there are rules that protect us from ourselves. I've been thinking about the 1st commandment...the one about having no other gods than God. When I was young this one bothered me. I thought that if we were serving a jealous God, we were not serving a perfect being, one who was above petty human emotions. I remember being relieved when I read what Luther said about that commandment: whatever we hang our trust and hope on becomes our god. And there are no temporal things, not money or power or fame or beauty, that will bear the weight of our ultimate trust (total paraphrase; no quotes but only good intention).
If you have ever struggled with addiction, or even a firmly entrenched habit, you can see how hollow the promise of solace from that behavior truly is. There is not enough alcohol or drugs or food or work or exercise or gambling or shopping to keep us safe from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (OK, a little quoting...thanks William). And because God knows this, and God knows that human beings will seek solace somewhere, God made a really good rule. One that makes sense, one that protects. It doesn't protect God from anything because God does not need protection from humans. Rather, it seeks to remind us that there is an eternal good, a happy ending, a balm for the grieving soul that never, never forsakes us.
We humans seek God in many ways, in many places and through many stages of belief and unbelief. I am grateful that we are given that freedom. I am grateful that no one can prove that their interpretation is the only one. Lots of people think they can, but they cannot prove anything. Ultimately we all seek the face of God in our own private longing, on our own journey to stand in the presence of Love. We support each other, gather with others who believe as we do. We try hard to be the earthly hands and feet and heart of God, to serve one another in love. When we remember that none of the man-made rules or behaviors will bear up under the weight of our souls, then we can be set free from the mind-numbing race to be good enough. To be enough anything.