This past weekend, my wife and I was blessed to be able to fulfill one of our bucket list dreams, to stay at the Jekyll Island Club House. It was built in the 1880s, a playground for the late 19th and early 20th century American wealthy, with the likes of J.P. Morgan, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and many others. The first transcontinental phone call was placed from there and other historical events.
If you have never been to south Georgia, the trees have an interesting moss that hangs from them, it is a very distinctive feature of the region. Jekyll Island is a small piece of paradise. When one is connected to the Creator through His commandments, being in a place like this is like taking a walk in a garden with Him. Walking among the moss covered trees and taking in the ocean air, what a great way to create memories.
As a person born among the nations and connected to the Creator through His commandments the world becomes our synagogue. Every where we go, we get to discover the beauty and awesomeness of His Glory. No matter what race, nationality or culture we encounter there is plenty of opportunity to witness His greatness and if we listen intently we will hear Him speaking to us through the world around us.
When we step out of our private world and into the vast world around us we have the great opportunity to be observant in the commands of the Creator, be it setting at a bar in a pub or browsing through a tourist shop on vacation; wherever we go we take the commands of our Creator with us.
A lot of these thoughts came to me as we met different people from all over at the Club House. Our last encounter was our server for breakfast. We had decided that we could not leave without at least once eating in the Grand Ball Room, at dinner time there is a dress code, men have to wear collared shirts, coats and the meals are a bit pricey. Sunday morning brunch was casual and more affordable for us.
The lady who served us was a bit distant at first, we guessed it right. It was because of how the ‘well-to-do’s’ had treated her. My wife made a comment about when she was a server in a country club outside of Nashville where many of the country music stars are members. Her wall came down, and we had a great conversation with her.
We never know what someone else is going through, being kind and allowing someone to be able to know that you can relate to a small piece of their life, is giving that person something that Job was looking for in his friends but never received.
You might be asking how does this all apply to the 7 Laws which are mostly prohibitions.
Well, this is my take on it, my two-cents worth.
We have the prohibition of theft that goes everywhere we go and we are tested on it constantly, whether we know it or not. One way of simple observance is to conscious not to take anything that is not ours but, we can also see that the other side of the coin of theft is to give – when we give of ourselves to help someone else out, to make their day better, to relieve a bit of stress they may be under, we then elevate the prohibition of theft into a positive action by doing the opposite and that is to give.
By giving we stop the action of theft – yes, you can obey it simply by not committing any form of theft and you would have obeyed the raw prohibition. But if we could be anti-theft, then we make this world a much better place for all of us.
The prohibition of theft is one of the most multi-leveled prohibitions we have. It touches pretty much every area of our life.
In my opinion, based on the studies and meditation on the subject, the first sin was not the disobedience of eating from the wrong tree. I firmly believe it was theft.
Before they disobeyed by eating from the forbidden tree, the first thing they did was to commit theft.
The Creator told the first man that He was giving him all the trees in the Garden to eat from, but one tree was not his to eat from. In essence that tree did not belong to him – so when they picked the fruit from the tree, they took what was not their’s to take – then they ate.
Thus, theft has become one of the most detailed crimes among humanity, we humans fail in this area even when we are not aware of it. Like our server, how many people have stolen her joy and happiness by just being rude? When we give kindness to fellow human beings, we build them up instead of taking away from them and leaving them with what’s left over i.e. robbing from their emotional welfare.
Among the moss and the memories of a fantastic weekend with my wife in Jekyll Island, Georgia, I walked away with a lesson learned: the vast world around me is a synagogue, it is where I hear and learn messages from the Creator.
the vast world around me is a synagogue, it is where I hear and learn messages from the Creator.
Terry W. Hayes