First there were giggles and laughing. Then a thud. Then a split second of silence and... a WAIL!!! Bawling. I ran into the living room and found Ava curled into a ball on the overstuffed chair holding her head. It didn't take me long to figure out what had happened.
She's recently taken to jumping on the furniture. Our bed, the couch, and now, even the chair. The one that is by the steps. The back of it is just high enough so that if you fling your head correctly, you may be able to whack yourself off the edge of the steps behind it. (Not if you're just sitting down though.) Obviously, this is what she did. I cuddled her into my arms and kissed it to make it better. The tears flowed for a little while longer, but eventually dried up. Ava looked at me and tried to explain what had happened. She had "bonked" herself.
"Do you remember Mommy & Daddy telling you 'NO MORE JUMPING?' Just like the monkeys, right?"
"Do you see why we don't want you to jump? I know it's a lot of fun. We're okay if you jump on the floor or a trampoline or even in the bouncy house we went to. Jumping on the furniture is not okay. You can hurt yourself more easily here."
"But, I did it before. I didn't fall off before."
"I know." I tried to explain how I could see the possibility of it happening without it happening every time. That's a bit much for a three year old. So, we just left it at, "Ask Mommy & Daddy if you want to jump somewhere and we'll tell you if it's safe."
I started thinking about our conversation. I always feel like I'm setting down a ton of "no fun" rules. (No jumping on the furniture. No talking to people who come by the back yard by the community walking path. No playing hide and seek in the stores... I'm a killjoy, I know.) It's for her safety, but I know she doesn't see it that way. Then I started thinking...
I've heard a lot of people refer the Bible in the same manner. (List of rules. Lots of stuff you aren't supposed to do. No fun.) Hmmm.... Although I don't see it that way, I'll admit. There are a bunch of things in the Bible that the Lord tells you not to do or that you're supposed to do. Some of them don't seem like they should really be a big deal. Especially not in today's society where a lot of things are allowed. Some of them may seem like a "killjoy" or just there to squash your fun/ freedoms.
What if... maybe, just maybe, God knows more than us. His understanding and the possible outcomes that He sees is greater than our own. He can see that there is potential for danger. Maybe not even for you, but for someone who is watching you and sees you as an example. He can see if there's the possibility for "bonking your head." Or maybe He sees that you're example will lead to others pushing the envelope even further. ie: You may just "jump" on the furniture and be okay, but the next guy sees you and decides to do a flip or try some trick and falls off of the bed.
Maybe, just maybe, they're not a list of "don'ts," but a list of places where humanity tends to fall apart or bonk themselves over and over. And maybe, just maybe, He loves us enough to tell us "No More Jumping" even if that makes Him seem like someone who wants to squash our fun. I think I'll try not to JUMP anymore. I'll also ask my Heavenly Father if it's safe, if I DO feel the urge to jump.