So I have the flu. I always thought I bore up well under unfortunate circumstances, but I am taking this like a man. (You know - whining, sniffling, begging for service, and bed-ridden...) Apparently I am contagious, so Mark has relegated me to the bedroom. Any time I venture out he covers his face and shoos the boys away. Heartwarming.
In between the aches, pains, difficulty swallowing, and general malaise I decided to watch some more of the classic movie The 10 Commandments starring Charleton Heston. I am in a "watch the classics" kick, and I have really enjoyed this movie. Along the way I have gleaned a few nuggets of wisdom I thought I would share with you.
(Keep in mind, I'm feverish.)
1. You just really shouldn't speak against God. Pretty obvious, right? Every time Pharaoh mocked God, I shivered inside, but deep down I think we have all become a bit desensitized to blasphemy. It happens all the time these days. We live in an age where there are little or no consequences for our actions and certainly no assumed consequences for our words or deeds beyond this life. This movie is a great reminder that God will not be mocked, and He responds to empty words with a mighty hand.
2. One thing never changes throughout history - how much mothers love their children. I know, I know - it sounds hokey, but sometimes I get caught up in this arrogant idea that my generation has "arrived" when it comes to loving our children. But carpools, packed schedules, and antibacterial hand soap don't communicate love any more than tucking a sweet baby in a basket to save his life.
3. Yul Brenner is hot. Doesn't matter if you are watching The 10 Commandments or The King and I - that man is hot. H-O-T. Timelessly hot.
4. Women should really, really not manipulate their men. Although I can't find it in the Bible (maybe it's in The Message version), there is a subplot in The 10 Commandments where Nefertiti is in love with Moses, but ends up marrying Pharaoh (played by Yul - see #3) when Moses' true heritage is discovered. While she still pines away for Moses, she uses her words to play on Pharaoh's fear and insecurities, and he ends up making terrible decisions based on those emotions. I'm not saying that we as women don't have good ideas. I'm just saying we probably shouldn't manipulate our men into walking out those good ideas.
5. We so quickly forget what God has done for us. That's why we have to praise Him so often. You know how many days it took the Israelites to start griping after they crossed the Red Sea? Three days! Once my self-righteousness passes, I humbly realize that I have seen God do the nearly-as-miraculous in my life, and yet I still find myself griping about my circumstances sometimes. I think this is why we are told over and over in the Word to praise God and to tell of His wonderful deeds. We have a terrible memory when it comes to what God has done, but we can recall immediately what we want Him to do in our prayer time. Ouch.
6. After Moses' encounter with the burning bush, he comes back with some pretty disheveled hair. I think there is even a line about it in the movie. So from now on when my hair looks bad, please assume I have had a major spiritual experience and not just a bad hair day.
7. Until we really trust God, we will always want to go back to what was familiar instead of believing God will lead us to what is best. Even after God had delivered them from the cruel hand of Egypt, the Israelites cry out to go back to what was familiar instead of believing God's promise to lead them to a better land. Can I tell you - that was the story of my life a decade ago. Instead of trusting God to lead me, I clung to what was familiar, even though it wasn't satisfying. While it wasn't 40 years in the desert, my twenties were spent learning the same lesson the Israelites finally learned - we shouldn't settle for what is familiar when God is ready to give us what is best.
8. Contrary to what I formerly believed, overacting didn't originate with Jim Carrey.
9. We need to sacrifice what God asks for, not just what we are willing to give up. In the infamous "golden calf" incident, there is a scene where a man throws an unwilling woman onto the statue as a sacrifice. God wanted to be their God, and for them to be His people. A woman at the foot of a golden calf isn't what He desired. It's not even close. How often I am willing to sacrifice what I won't miss without giving much thought to what God actually desires from me!
10. When we are wrong we need to run, not walk to what is right. One of my favorite scenes is right after Moses comes down from the mountain to find the people worshipping the golden calf. He commands those who are with God to stand at his side. Even though Aaron's own hands helped create the golden calf, he immediately hikes up his robe and sprints to stand by Moses in regret and sorrow. I have spent a tremendous amount of time standing in my sin, justifying my choice when I should have hiked up my robe and run to God in sorrow and regret.
I learned more than these 10 things from watching The Ten Commandments, and even greater lessons from reading the story in the Bible. I would love to blog some more about it (did I mention how attractive I find Yul Brenner? I mean he's no Mark, but he's got something going on...), but there is a Halls and a nap calling my name. Hopefully when the fever breaks and the Lysol clears, I can finish the movie.