Do you ever think about the ten commandments as just an old-fashioned list of things you can’t do? A bunch of “thou shalt nots”? I'm giving the 10 commandments a closer look by blogging about one of them each Friday. Scroll down for the last five blogs on the topic.
Like the fourth commandment, the fifth is more of a reminder of what to do, rather than pointing out what not to do.
The fifth commandment is: Honor thy father and thy mother. Yes, we should be nice to our parents. Surely, that's on the surface of this commandment. But, I also like to look a little deeper than the surface by spiritualizing my concept of this commandment. When I do, I see it this way: Honor your Father-Mother God.
In the study of Christian Science, God is seen as our divine Parent--Father and Mother. In her spiritual translation of the Lord’s Prayer, Mrs. Eddy translates the first line, “Our Father which art in heaven,” as “Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 16).
So, the fifth commandment is meant to remind us to honor God in our everyday lives. Of course, how we choose to honor God is unique to each one of us.
One way that I like to honor our divine Parent, God, is to see God’s creation as He made it—complete and very good. (See Genesis 1:31, Genesis 2:1). That means, that each person we come in contact with has God’s approval as His spiritual and beloved son or daughter. I felt this very tangibly yesterday while walking my dog in the park. There is a homeless man who spends his afternoons in one of the city parks. This particular park is in one of the oldest parts of town and has lush grass, beautiful shade trees, lots of squirrels, and a very deep feeling of peace and calm.
As my dog and I were on a straight stretch of sidewalk, we met the man pushing his bike toward us. It was laden down with his worldly goods in plastic grocery sacks. I said hi to him and commented that it looked like he was carrying a lot of things with him. He told me that he really needed to find a place. He said he’d been to the organizations in town that provide assistance to the homeless community and hadn’t found anything.
But, even as he said that, I could feel such a sense of God’s love for him. I was quietly knowing that this man was God’s son and could never slip through the cracks or be without one good thing. As I was feeling that, he commented that he knew “the big guy” was watching over his shoulder. I assured him that I knew that was true, too, and because of that, I was sure there was a solution right at hand. He said he had no doubt of that. He also made comment that he was thankful for this beautiful park where he could sit and enjoy the day.
This isn’t the first time I’ve spoken to this man. Every time, it has been so apparent to me that his joy, kindness, and love for life, in spite of what appears to be less than ideal human conditions, are very present and are sustaining him day by day.
Of course, I’m keeping my eyes and ears open to see if there is anything else I can offer the man. But, for now, I know that recognizing his place in our divine Parent’s presence is honoring the man, and keeping the fifth commandment to honor the creator of all, his divine Father-Mother God.
Today, you can find your own unique way to honor our divine Parent. Whatever form that takes, be sure to pause...and send Her a prayer of gratitude for all the good in your life and in the world around you.
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!