BE my Law and I shall be,

Firmly bound, forever free.

Samuel Longfellow, Hymn

My mother was forever telling me to straighten my shoulders (or my bed); put out the light (or the cat): stop chewing gum (or my fingernails): tone down the record player (or my voice).  I guess we all know the routine if we were blessed enough to have mothers!

I used to think it would be nice to be free.  My then-definition of “free” was having nobody telling me what to wear, or what to eat, or that I slept too little, read too much.  If I were free, I could eat what I pleased, go without sleep and let my grades drop to the bottom of the class.  I could make all the noise I was capable of making.  Imagine!

“I wish I’d been triplets,” I once said to my uncle.  “Mama would have to divide her fussing time between us.”

“She’s not fussing, honey,”  Uncle Henry said.  “She’s loving you.”

That turned my thinking around.  Life without the love and guidance of my mother was unthinkable.  Who wanted to make noise if there was nobody around to hear it?  Why, I might even cry in the night — and she wouldn’t hear that either!  To this day, my mother must wonder why I rushed out into the yard and hugged her over and over until she gasped for breath.

There used to be times in my adult life when I felt restricted by all the “thou shalt nots” in the Bible.  How could I be free if I had to obey all these injunctions from an ancient book?  But then I began to see that breaking these laws actually diminished my freedom to live a full and happy life.  God knows me best — and what is best for me.  Accepting this loving control is my surest path to freedom.

Father, You know best.  Guide me with Your loving care. 

        June Masters Bacher

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