February 19, 1938 marks the birthdate of the late great Alva Hamilton Echols. She was both mother and father to me and my siblings and at the heart of her actions were love and devotion to a better life for her children. So she instilled in us above all others OBEDIENCE. Since I can remember I have had the self-effacing experience of learning the hard way. I’d like to say that every mistake that I made in life was because I had no warning but I can’t. Having an invisible father compounded, if not created the disobedience in me on most occasions and if it weren’t for a mother willing to throw her life away for me I would have been worse. In fact I had to figure out a lot of things on my own and being deposited in some of the situations without an instructor lead to my thinking that I knew better when all it was, was that I got away with it the first time.
To fully comprehend OBEDIENCE we have to look to and through disobedience for they are not mere opposites. Disobedience has a defiant yet, independent component that shouldn’t just be arbitrarily demonized but, it has to be addressed. Think about it, an awful lot of things have developed out of disobedience. The American Revolution was an act of disobedience and the Civil Rights movement was deemed disobedience and not to leave out the ongoing Women’s Rights suffrage. Some things in life just beg to be kicked against such as slavery in America where a human was labeled 3/5 of a person because of his race and not the content of his character. And how can you tell a woman to work just as hard as a man and not expect to be paid equally?
OBEDIENCE has a different feel and determination for it is more akin to deference than following blindly. When I am obedient to the rules it is not that I agree to all of the rules, more so I am submissive to the powers that be because of the power behind the rules. Slavery could not exist through whips and chains, it was the power behind said whips and chains. When the powers were overcome, then and only then did the rules change. Racism has existed all of my life and because we now have an African American President in Barack Obama, does not indicate the racist powers have fallen. In fact it is just an indicator that the racist system has a kink in an armor fortified by years of hatred. Since Crispus Attucks, our nation has been going through the process of freedom and until all are free to be as GOD made them, we are all bound.
OBEDIENCE is the act of compliance that creates order in an otherwise chaotic system. OBEDIENCE is not always fair to everyone. Growing up I had this terrible sense of fair play. I would learn the rules before anything else and hold you to them like super glue. In 1975 I was asked very sternly to leave the kindergarten classroom because of my response to what I thought were very unfair actions. It wasn’t until decades later did I learn that OBEDIENCE can veil my true feelings until I had the opportunity to make the change more permanent. The ying to the yang of OBEDIENCE is the power to enforce the guidelines, for it is more prudent to be obedient to the posted speed limit than to face the policeman on patrol with the sole purpose of ticketing the violators. OBEDIENCE says there is a choice but also a consequence. I spent many of my growing years testing my mother’s ability to hit the mark and believe me whether it was a shoe or handy fly swatter, she rarely missed.
OBEDIENCE has the aroma of trust. As the railroad crossing warns that there is a train en route even if you don’t hear it or see it you have to trust that outside of the rare malfunction, it is coming. Judgement awaits the violators even if they got away with it on many occasions prior. It is the one time that you get caught that makes one whole heartedly believe that OBEDIENCE is better than sacrifice. We pray that you have enjoyed our perspective for this week and if you have any comments please feel free to send them our way.
Posted in Obedience