How Breaking a Rule Taught Me to Keep a Commandment


I have a confession to make.  I tried to get my son to break mission rules. 

For two years he is serving as a missionary in Taiwan and only gets to call home on Mother’s Day and Christmas.  Harsh.  I know. 

Though he’s required to send weekly letters that catalog his comings and goings, it’s not the back and forth communication I crave.  I want to focus on each other, lock eyes and hearts, and have my message resonate strongly enough that there is a visible response from him.

Why do I crave it?  Because I love him.  I have watched, fed, comforted, taught, nursed, transported, corrected and thoroughly enjoyed him for 19 years.  To suddenly have him cut off-even when I know he is safe and growing and serving like he never would have at home--is really painful. It feels wrong, even if I know it is right for a time.

Could it possibly be that my Heavenly Father craves communication with me?  Does He yearn for real focus, connection of heart and mind, and the opportunity to comfort, instruct and cheer me each day?

If we consider the fact that He is literally the father of our spirits, having been with each of us since day-one of our existences, it makes logical and emotional sense.  Years, or eons of watching, correcting, comforting, instructing, removing obstacles and rejoicing over us would make it ridiculous to think He’s too busy for any one of His children. 

God isn’t concerned less because He has bigger things to concern Himself with.  If I choose to walk into his presence in prayer, I have His immediate and full attention. 

How is this possible?  Through His perfect love.

And here’s where my comparative analogy breaks down.  I don’t yet offer perfect love to my children.  I have been guilty many times--daily in fact--of not giving my full attention to what matters most.  My relationships.  But He never miscalculates in these weighty matters.  Never.  Ever.

Back to my confession. 

As Mother’s Day approached, I wanted to be sure our precious video conference call would be set up right.  No technology issues.  When I saw a little green dot next to his photo in social media, evidence that he was currently online, I caved.  I sent a video call through, hoping for a  moment to connect privately. 

I would take a mere 30 seconds to tell him I was excited for more time together later and that I loved him.  I hoped to see with my own eyes and hear with my own ears that he was not only fine, but doing better than ever. 

And if he wasn’t, then I’d jump into action.  Just give me a minute to get my ducks in a row and help would be on its way.

But, bless his darn, obedient soul…he didn’t pick up.

Now, if I get a notification from the Spirit that my Father wants to connect with me, I’m convinced that I won’t be breaking rules to make it happen.

In reality, I’ll be breaking a commandment if I don’t answer His call.

Delighted you’re here.  Please share your thoughts on prayer with me.