We hear a lot these days about moderation and balance: a little work, a little play, some good food, some entertainment, a few days off, a little religion, a good book or two, a self-help class, a good physical fitness program…a little of everything and not too much of anything. So, by today’s standards the instructions in Deuteronomy 6 for running our lives and rearing our children seems a bit extreme.
“Love the Lord your God,” the instructions say, “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Seems to me that pretty much covers everything – everything seems to be focused on loving the Lord your God.) Then the manual goes on to tell us how to pass that single-minded commitment on to our children. We are to teach it by talking about God and loving Him when we sit at home and when we go jogging, when we get ready for bed, and at the breakfast table. We are to paste it on the refrigerator and the kitchen bulletin board. We are to put sticky-pad notes on the steering wheel (as we go on the way) and on the back storm door window when we leave the house. We are to “bind it on our foreheads” and tie it “as symbols on our hands.” Now, I don’t know if that means wearing “Jesus saves” bracelets and “sign of the fish” rings, but I think it means to keep around us reminders to ourselves of what life is all about.
Now, you might be saying, “That’s a lot of religion, don’t you think?” And you might just be right. Unless, as we go about being balanced physically, mentally, emotionally, vocationally and religiously, loving God is WHAT WE ARE!