Then: When I was a lad and in London, all my friends and I would play a multitude of street games from which we derived untold hours of simple pleasure; that, sadly, seem to have been lost to children today.
Ah, I remember the game called, ‘Don’t tread on the pavement gaps or you’ll turn to stone’. The variation of this was, ‘Don’t tread on the pavement lines or the bears will get you’.
‘And I keep in the squares,
And the masses of bears,
Who wait at the corners all ready to eat
The sillies who tread on the lines of the street’
(A A Milne)
Ofcourse, it never occurred to us, then, that there were no wild bears in London, but we took the game ever-so seriously and our simple, delightful, childish imaginations ran riot – and we tried not to step on the lines between the pavements. We laughed about it, pushed each other to cause someone else to step on the line, and flitted between being over-cautious and careless – that is, until we lost interest ten minutes later, and went on to another game. Ah, those were the days.
Now: It occurred to me, now, as an adult, to question myself and ask if I still have any odd and limiting beliefs, ones that no longer are childish games, but, are holding me back? Or, to question if I’m following another’s unnecessary beliefs?
Here’s a couple of examples:
First example: Many years ago, at small prayer meetings that I used to attend, most seem to address their prayers to ‘Heavenly Father’, and end ‘…in Jesus’ name’. I see no problem with that. Well, except, that when I’m alone I tend to call upon, ‘Heavenly Daddy’. It is more intimate, less ‘distancing’ and, well, that’s me! And, yes, before you ask…on a few occasions, in public at those small prayer meetings, I’ve addressed my prayer to ‘Heavenly Daddy’. Yes, I stepped on the pavement lines!
Oh dear, afterwards, several came up to me with a smile on their faces, but some came with a frown! ‘How could you?’ one exclaimed. And, he went on to explain that, ‘God is the Almighty, not the all-matey!’. I could have explained my words, and backed them up with a ‘dollop’ of Greek, and appealed to the need for us all to draw closer to God (and that we seem to do the opposite, and might he be doing the same) but I didn’t. I wept inwardly.
The small man
Builds cages for everyone
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the beautiful, rowdy prisoners.
Second example: About nine years ago I had to have most of my oesophagus removed because of cancer, and part of my stomach was ‘remodelled’ to take its place. One or two friends, (and ofcourse you read about this a lot of the internet), warned me: ‘Don’t have a general anaesthetic. Demons creep in that way’, they said.
I asked these friends if it was them having their stomachs and necks cut open in an eight hour operation, whether they would accept a local anaesthetic only and be awake for the traumatic operation? They fell silent. But, I had stepped on another pavement line. I wept inwardly.
Ofcourse, they were ‘doubly horrified’ when they found out that not only did I have a general anaesthetic, but that the hospital had scheduled the operation for 31st October, Hallowe’en!
Now, I’m grown up. I am, honest!
And, I now realise that stepping on the gaps between the pavement won’t turn me into stone, or turn me into a bear’s lunch. That’s a silly game, or at best a silly, limiting superstition. It may be okay for children, but, there is a point when we’re commended to put away childish things. And yet, some seem to revel in their limiting beliefs.
What about you? What is holding you back?
Why do some people cling to their superstitions and get so upset and ‘unfriend’ those who don’t believe in them?
Calling God ‘Daddy’, I don’t think upsets God. And, I have yet to be given a Bible verse that informs me that demons creep in when we’re under a general anaesthetic. No, these are modem superstitions, and limiting beliefs (without foundation). And, more than that: they are dressed up in a religious guise which seems to make them acceptable, and they promote ignorance or fear by ‘accident’; or do both by ‘design’ by people who want to inculcate fear into others. There, I’ve said it.
Did you know that (depending on the translation) there are 366 ‘Do not fear’s in the Bible.
But, enough about me?
Bearing in mind that there are useful ‘habits’ that we’re commended to practice, and not all that we do might be helpful…
What about you? What is holding you back?
What limiting beliefs do you have, that are based on mere superstition or ‘inherited’ from another’s’ belief-system, and are without foundation?
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36, The Book
But, be warned: If you find a limiting-belief and change accordingly, if you find that prison key and let yourself out, be prepared for a frown from some others. For then, you too, will not only have matured and be free, but will have stepped on the pavement lines.
And, do you know what? It’s worth it.