When our son Ryan was about five years old, he asked me one day, “Mom, do I stink?” I was surprised by the question, but determined to give a truthful answer, I leaned over and took a whiff. No, he did not stink, and I told him so. Apparently, during an argument with his big sister, he had been told that he did.
Like many mothers, I was privileged to be the most trusted confidante my young children had. It was to me that they revealed the dreams, fears and secret ponderings that they disclosed to no one else. They trusted me to listen and to respond with understanding and love. They also counted on me to be honest. If Ryan had to be told that he did indeed stink, he wanted to hear it from me.
Beyond recognizing and revealing my children’s flaws to them, I also provided a way for them to overcome their imperfections. If my son was in need of a bath, I was the one who would see that he got one.
Morally speaking, this earth is inhabited by many stinky people, but most of them never stop to ask the question that Ryan asked me. They don’t know whom to ask because they have never established an absolute guide for their lives. Instead, they follow their hazy consciences or simply fall in line with the current moral code and live their lives according to its dictates.
Everyone needs a life standard that nothing else can trump: not the current bestselling book, not some smooth-talking guru, not the latest self-serving ism, and not a nebulous, ever-changing conscience that is based on feelings.
Such a standard can be trusted to give honest and authoritative answers to the big questions we all ask: What is my purpose? What is evil? How should I treat the people in my world? What will happen to me after I die?
The perfect standard will go beyond simply answering tough questions and pointing out flaws. It will also provide loving help in making needed changes.
Please identify the standard by which you measure your life. If that standard is reliable, take seriously your commitment to it. Adhere closely to its precepts.
Do you stink? How do you know?
©Debbie Scales December 20, 2015 377 words