It’s been discussed that the 5th commandment, “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,” is the only one with a concommitant promise. IF you do this, THEN you will have this blessing.
I’ve found a new way of looking at that dependent clause. While it may mean simply, “I command you to obey your parents, and, by the way, if you do this you’ll live a long life,” it might mean something else. It could be taken as saying “I command you to live a long life, and to facilitate that, I command you to obey your parents.”
That is the hidden commandment I’m refering to: Live Long. Or, rather, live as long as the Lord wants you to.
Might seem like an unnecessary commandment in a world that is filled with folks seeking immortality. But there are a few groups that could use this commandment.
- Suicidal people. Folks with suicidal thoughts of whatever frequency (and I’m in this group, though I’m pretty well medicated these days) might do well to consider this a commandment. Granted, “Thou shalt not kill” also works as a preventative law, but there’s killing yourself and there’s allowing yourself to die. I, for one, have long said that, should it come down to me dying, and my family saying “Fight it! Fight! You can do this!” I’d say “No thanks!” and start going towards the light. And that’s an attitude that needs to change.
- Fat people and lazy people. I’m in this group, too. If it means no sugar, and lots of unpleasant exercise, I don’t want to live long. Am I right, folks? C’mon, there’s a reason Americans are the most obese people in the world — it’s more pleasurable than the alternative, which is a proper diet and lots of exercise. But if we thought that the Lord was commanding us to live long, we might be a bit more motivated to get off the couch. (And, once again, this commandment is reiterated with the notion of “My body is a temple,” but that seems a bit too lax.)
- Dangerous sports nuts. Adrenaline seekers might consider this, too… and maybe not argue about whether or an activity that has, in fact, claimed lives, is dangerous or not. I wanna jump out of a plane too, but certainly not while I have a wife and kids depending on me.
- The Live Hard, Die Young crowd. You know, folks that drink too much, or drug-users, or smokers, etc. Kinda goes along with the fat folks up above, but they might justify their behaviour by being in shape.
Again, just because it’s a commandment doesn’t mean anybody will actually harken to it, but it’s certainly useful to me. I’ve been pretty much planning on dying by 60, by allowing the heart-disease that will no doubt be chasing me to just catch up. Instead, I need to get out of my comfy, sedentary lifestyle, and get a headstart on mortality with some real exercise. I need to stop finding special occasions to eat sugar. (“Today’s date is an even number! Let’s have an even number of cookies!”)(“Hey, a dozen is an even number!”)
I don’t know what I’m waiting for. “When I have my own bike…” or “When I’m in a neighborhood with sidewalks…” or “When I live in Utah…” I could start by freakin’ walking to work every day. (Freakin’ walking is the style here in LA.)
Wish I had a treadmill I could mount my keyboard on. THAT would be awesome. Maybe in Utah.