I have been hearing an eternity of talk about the Ten Commandments recently. All of this took me back to my Third Grade Sunday School teacher, Miss Peggy Seabrook coupled with what I learned at home.
Every Sunday morning, my Sunday School class would be greeted with Miss Peggy’s famous chant, “Good Monin’, Good Monin’, Good Monin’!” It could be 115 degrees, 20 below zero or a spring flood; she always filled our ears with the sound of sunshine. Make no mistake. In her class we memorized, we recited, and even had Bible drills. The first lesson every year was the same: The Ten Commandments.
I starting thinking of all of the “thou shalts and the thou shalt nots” and it dawned on me that I actually thought my parents wrote the Ten Commandments. Not until I was in Miss Peggy Seabrook’s class did I realize these rules were actually in the Bible. It wasn’t my mother’s rules, it was Moses receiving instruction from God.
1- Thou shalt have no other God’s before me. Translation: We are your parents. We brought you into this world and we can take you out. You obey us and we obey God. Got it?
2- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Translation: So help me if we ever hear you say any bad words, you will be sorry. (We couldn’t even say “Ga or Jee”…it was just too close.
3- Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy. Translation: We go to church on Sunday. We don’t care if you are bored to tears. You will go, sit still, and listen. And if you misbehave, when we get home you gonna to be sorry.
Drum roll……here is the BIG one!
4- Honor your father and your mother….one of the grand Ten Commandments….
Translation: You want to live? (The rest of that verse does say, “so you may live long.”) Oh, so you want to run away from home? Let me help you pack. I will also call someone to come and get you. (Pre-Department of Social Services days)
5- Thou shalt not steal. Translation: If you borrow something, return it. If you break something, fix it. And if you steal something, you will return it, say you are sorry and hope you don’t get thrown jail.
6- Thou shalt not give false testimony against your neighbor.
Translation: A dog that brings a bone takes a bone. Sweep your own doorstep before you sweep someone else’s.
7- You shall not covet. Translation: That is a huckleberry above my persimmon. Translation of translation: It is too expensive; live within your means.
Yes, the above are several of the Ten Commandments taught to me Eleanor and Benjamin style. Maybe my parents’ method of teaching was different from Miss Peggy’s, but I got the message. I think there is a lesson here…it all starts at home and it sure helps to have a Miss Peggy out there to remind us of what is important.