May. 12, 2017

Always Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide...

“When you get in trouble and you don't know right from wrong
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle!
When you meet temptation and the urge is very strong
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle!

Not just a little squeak, pucker up and blow
And if your whistle's weak, yell Jiminy Cricket!

Take the straight and narrow path
And if you start to slide
Give a little whistle! Give a little whistle!
And always let your conscience be your guide.”

Music and lyrics by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington

Remember Pinocchio, the Disney animated classic from 1940? Well, you probably don’t. Even I wasn’t born yet. But Geppetto, the Blue Fairy, Monstro the whale, and, of course, Jiminy Cricket are familiar figures to all of us. This little cartoon in the picture featuring Ziggy triggered this song about always letting your conscience be your guide. You remember Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who wanted more than anything to be a real boy, but he had a little trouble with the truth from time to time, and when he did, his nose grew and grew. We don’t have that problem, but that guilty conscience thing being like a room with wall to wall carpeting where you can’t sweep anything under the rug is all too true.

Here’s one of mine: When I was about four, my mother and I lived with my aunt and grandmother in an apartment in Alhambra. My mother had a little rectangular stool which sat in front of her vanity where she would sit and do her face and hair. This stool was a bright, cheerful red corduroy and I liked it, being partial to red. However, one day she recovered her stool in a dull gold brocade, which I did not like one little bit. No one was interested in my opinion. So, in an effort to rectify this situation, I took my red crayon and colored this ugly gold brocade in red. As I was completing the job, I realized this might not go down well with my mother so, hearing her coming into the bedroom, I flung my little self over the stool. My mother asked me what on earth I was doing and to get off there, so I did. My artwork was revealed and let’s just say that I got a spanking. She covered it again and I have no recollection of what color it was the next time. The guilty conscience part was me trying to cover up my sin with my four year old self.

Guilty consciences come in all sorts of colors. For instance, in the earlier part of my life I had a tendency to speak my mind, thinking I was just beyond amusing when what I really was was snarky, sarcastic and leaning toward mean on occasion. It took a while for God to show me what I was doing, and for me to get it that each time I said one of these things, I was going to have to apologize. How did I know I’d made a mistake? I’d be unable to sleep, replaying over and over in my mind what thoughtless thing I had said to someone. And I would be unable to rest until I apologized. In time, as God continued to work on me...

“...and I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:6

.... and after way too many years of apologizing, I learned to say something nice to everyone I encounter and I’m sleeping better.

I’ve never robbed a bank, I’ve even given grocery checkers back too much change! I’ve not murdered anyone...there were times with the children, however... but that’s another story! But my conscience could not be guiltier when I disappoint my Lord. I guess that’s the worst part, disappointing those we love. John and I went to a wonderful memorial service today, celebrating the life of a saint who lived to be 100 years and two months old. I loved Evelyn Sanner, admired her, told her she was the best looking woman in the church, and I even wrote a piece for her when she needed to submit something to a missionary magazine. She had a great sense of humor, too. John turned to me during the service and said that his mother used to say to him, “That’s not worthy of you, John.” I guess that’s the thing I never want to hear my Lord say to me again, “That’s not worthy of you, Deanne.”

“The human voice can never reach the distance that is covered by the still small voice of conscience.” Mahatma Gandhi