Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Pants on Fire...

"Liar Liar pants on fire" is one of those old school things I used to say on the playground when I was a kid when I heard something that was said that wasn't true, or so I thought. I remember in elementary school my mother had use of a car but I don't know if she just wanted me to walk home, (to avoid putting my other 3 siblings in the car) or if we were so broke that she didn't have the gas in it.

My mother would ask me to walk home and be sure not to stop at a friend's house. I decided that if I wasn't long, I could go to a friend's house, and just walk fast. The bell rang and as fast as I could, with all the anticipation that I had built up in me, ran to my friend's house, hand in hand with our lunch boxes flailing, backpacks practically knocking us out from the running.

We sat on her front lawn and her mother came out and checked on us, returning with a snack and drink in hand.  I loved being there. I was allowed to drink sweet soda and have a snack that my hippie, earthy mother would never allow in our house. I loved the smells that came out of my friend's house when her mother opened the door. Scents of lemon and house cleaning products and eventually some type of yummy bbq meat. As we laid in the grass, picking through clover trying to find one with 4 leaves, I recognized a woman frantically driving around the corner in a car just like my mother's. My heart raced, anxiety level went from 2-10 and I felt like I was socked in the gut.
I jumped up and starting running home.  I ran like I was being chased by that woman in the car. "Was it my mother?" "Was she calling the police?" "Are there tons of people looking for me?" "What will my Dad say?" "WHAT WILL MY DAD SAY?"

My father is a big man with big hands but never gave us spankings.  He just had a powerful voice and a really good way of forcing out your guilt without saying a word. I didn't want to have to explain my amazing moments to my Dad and then feel bad about them.

I could see my house from a distance. "I am almost there, I am almost there", panting away as I approached the last few houses before mine. As I crossed the street, I saw the driveway. My mother's car was gone. She wasn't home, door locked and I am now sitting on the step, waiting.
My mother pulled in about 30 seconds later. The look on her face was anger and fear as she rolled up the window. As she let my siblings out, she asked me the one question that I didn't want to hear. "Where were you after school?"
My hands clammy and sweat dripping from my mini 5k, I responded. "I was walking home".
My mother, knowing that I was lying said "did you stop anywhere?"
"No".  Then the words entered my head, reminded by the chants of the kids on the playground from the day before when a student said that Mrs. Stalling had her boogers stored in a jar in her desk. "Liar Liar pants on fire!"
My mother went into the house and seemed to be angry for the rest of the day.  I knew she knew I was lying.  She knew that I wasn't coming home. She had other battles to fight, grace to give and I was home safely.

Unfortunately 35 years later, things haven't changed completely.  I do run late when I tell my husband I am on my way home, I stop off sometimes before I head straight home to grab something to drink, a greeting card or just to sit and be alone. Although some of these things seem harmless, I know that they are still lies.  My husband will ask, "what time will you be home?" and I respond "about 9" and he gives me that "look" that means, "yeah right".
That "yeah right" has spoken to me lately.

In the past year or so, I have realized that a person's word is important. If you tell someone that you are going to commit to something or someone, it is important to that person. It doesn't matter how big or small the commitment or promise it is. In Deuteronomy it says: You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised with your mouth. 

So does this just apply to our vow to God? 

If what we speak before men is before God, then no.  If we are asked a question like what time are you going to be home and we respond "9". Then we should keep our word and be home by "9". Simple?  No. 
We get side tracked, we start chatting it up with a friend we haven't seen, someone has a problem, I personally want a coffee.  The list goes on.  What about my husband that is at home, expecting me to be home? I have let him down if he checks the clock and it is now 10pm and I know if the tables were turned, I would be worried. Now being late is not as serious as committing to someone to serve them or commitment to a bible study or even commitment to my husband. Commitment can be cheapened when we lie. When we say one thing and do another. It causes confusion on who we are and insecurities and trust issues on those we commit to. 

Better time management and being a WOMAN OF HER WORD (or man) is important and is an example of a Christian.  It doesn't allow us to waiver on the belief system that we have.  It doesn't allow us room to be lukewarm or make half broken promises.  It is our integrity that is questioned when someone can say "liar liar pants on fire:. It makes my mom want to drive around the neighborhood wondering if her daughter was picked up by a stranger or her daughter was not obeying the rules.

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