“What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “You shall not covet. But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead.” (Rom 7:7-8, NIV2)
In 1989 great renovations occurred at the Fort Mackinac in Michigan: The first water closets and flush toilets were installed! Great excitement among the soldiers befell. The old ways were gone, welcome to technology!
Workshops about instructing all personnel how to use these unfamiliar modern innovation were of utmost importance. I can imagine how the soldiers felt with such workshops. “Why do I have to attend those? I can figure it by myself!”
However soldiers treated these new inventions as their former latrines, throwing all kinds of things in the toilet bowls, creating a mess for those who were assigned to clean these new devices and clean was a must, believe me! More often than not the toilets could not be used as they were stuck by all kinds of obstructions! After all a toilet is not a garbage can!
Post Commander Captain Greenleaf A. Goodale had to establish a new law to avoid these new complications. His orders were simple: Use only “soft paper” and at all cost do not throw matches, toothpicks and cigar stumps in the toilet bowl! The consequences would be disastrous: Violators would be court martialed and made to use their former privies.
Interestingly enough after this new law came into effect, all went way more smoothly. Still, some continued to be violators, as they saw this as an opportunity to defy the orders.
Are we any better?
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)