Summary: This is the first of a multi- part series based upon the book "Three Simple Rules," "A Wesley Way of Living" by author Rueben P. Job. The rules: 1-Do No Harm. 2-Do Good. 3- Stay In Love With God. Following these rules can transform ourselves, our comm
Three Simple Rules
A Wesleyan Way of Living
Based on the book of the same name by Ruben P. Job
Rules. The world, our culture, our families… all have rules. Without rules, our world would be in anarchy, chaos. Some rules are called laws. We have civil laws and criminal laws. Break a civil law and it can cost you a lot of money or other material wealth. Break a criminal law, and you could find yourself in jail.
On the side of the highway waiting to catch speeding drivers, a State Trooper sees a car puttering along at 22 m.p.h. He thinks to himself, "This driver is just as dangerous as a speeder!" So he turns on his lights and pulls the driver over.
Approaching the car, he notices that there are five old ladies -- two in the front seat and three in the back, wide eyed and white as ghosts.
The driver, obviously confused, says to him, "Officer, I don’t understand, I was doing exactly the speed limit! What seems to be the problem?"
"Ma’am," the officer replies, "you weren’t speeding, but you should know that driving much slower than the speed limit can also be a danger to other drivers."
"Slower than the speed limit? No sir, I was doing the speed limit, exactly twenty-two miles an hour!" the old woman says a bit proudly.
The State Trooper, trying to contain a chuckle explains to her that 22 was the route number, not the speed limit.
A bit embarrassed, the woman grinned and thanked the officer for pointing out her error.
"But before I let you go, Ma’am, I have to ask... Is everyone in this car OK? These women seem awfully shaken and they haven’t muttered a single peep this whole time," the officer asks.
"Oh, they’ll be all right in a minute, officer. We just got off Route 119.
But when we break all the rules down to the essential, at least from a spiritual, to be more specific, a Methodist point if theological view, we can look to the founder of the Methodist church.
There are three simple rules that have the power to change the world. These rules have been around since ancient times, yet, rarely have they been fully tested. However, when and where practiced, the world of things as they were was shaken. Shaken until a new formation, a new world came to be... The Wesleyan movement is a prime example of this new creation, formed when these three simple rules were and can be today, adopted as a way of living.
We live in a crazy world. Fast –paced and complex and how easy we can buy into the belief that we’re trapped into being someone we do not want to be… and not living the life we desire. Don’t we truly long for a way, an answer to cut through all the junk and complexities and turbulence of our world today? If we were entirely honest, wouldn’t it be great to be a part of the solution not the problem? To find a way to overcome the stuff that causes disagreement and/or hostility, the kind of stuff that separates, sometimes makes fun of us, disrespects, diminishes and leaves us wounded and feeling incomplete.
Sometimes, things are going great. Then we seem to forget to give credit to our God and share the good times with Him. We tend to believe we are totally and completely responsible for things going well. Who needs God when things are going great?
Then, when things don’t go so great, we may fall into the trap of wondering if there is a way out of whatever the mess is we find ourselves in… or the life we are living. And once again… often until we’ve fallen to the very bottom of the pit, do we forget to call on the One who created us.
Some here may have already walked down that path. Some may be on it yet today. Chances are we know someone who is desperately trying to figure out how to turn things around. Someone who realizes that only a radical change can move them out of the rut of their situation. And somewhere they know deep in their heart this radical change is possible, because they know… they know the devastating cost of continuing down the path they are traveling. Finally, they, perhaps like most of us, understand the risks are too high to continue down the same path… the results of that road too costly.
But where to turn…
It is then we turn to the One who created us, formed us, and loves us as we are… and yet… always seeks to lead us to become more that what we are.
When asked which commandment was the most important, Jesus responded… “you shall love the Lord you God with all your heart, and with all you soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”…There is not other commandment greater than these.”