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March 11, 2023 | Daily Devotionals | March 11

Selective Obedience

Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. Hebrews 5:8

The hit television comedy a few years back named Everybody Loves Raymond appealed to many because of the fixes Raymond found himself in as a result of his inappropriate social decisions.  We found the humor because we can all relate to our own less than perfect decisions regarding the things that have come out of our mouths. The sitcom’s template was simple and effective, Ray either (a) shoots off his mouth, (b) sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong, (c) acts impulsively, (d) childishly responds to a dare, or (e) follows advice from the wrong sources.  For the balance of the show, he fumbles and stumbles to cover his track or help someone else cover theirs.

In one flashback episode, Marie catches wind of Raymond’s plan to consummate his budding relationship with Debra before they are married.  In a classic moment, just when Ray and Debra start kissing on the couch in Debra’s apartment, there is a foreboding knock on the door. As it turns out Marie had an “extra pan of lasagna” cooking in the oven and thought she would drive the dish across town to Debra and Ray. To make things even worse Raymond’s brother, father and family priest are with Marie.  Caught red-handed so to speak, and embarrassed and uncomfortable, the young couple welcomes everyone to have a seat in the small apartment living room.  Marie’s ruse is immediately exposed when, sitting between Ray and Debra (how convenient!) she deliberately asks a provocative question of the priest. ”Father, do you have to keep all the commandments?”, she asks, alluding to the impending moral and spiritual catastrophe sure to take place after they leave, “Or can you pick and choose?”.

Father, thank you for your sense of humor, it is always poignant.

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