Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Deuteronomy 8:11
The customs of different cultures are fascinating.
When we lived amongst the Zulus we discovered that they spoke extremely loudly and would even hold lengthy conversations when they were a few hundred metres away from each other. In Western culture, folk usually make an attempt to get close enough so as to not shout. But in the Zulu culture no attempt is made to carry on a conversation in more moderate tones. That’s because the Zulus consider it bad manners to whisper. They reason that if a person is whispering then they must be gossiping or maligning someone. So the Zulus make a point of speaking out so that everyone can hear that they’re not saying something inappropriate or slanderous.
In the Pineapple Story, a humorous yet profound true story, published by the Institute in Basic Youth Conflicts, there’s another example of cultural differences. A missionary somewhere in Africa hires a local man to plant pineapples for him but never gets to eat his pineapples (well not at first) because the gardener steals the pineapples and eats them himself. According to the gardener, “My hands plant them. My mouth eats them. That is the rule of the jungle.”
In another African tribe the Christians find a place of solitude in the bush where they can go and pray each day. Each person clears a path to his or her place of prayer and the path is only used by that individual. Thus whenever the Christian neglects his or her prayer life, all that was needed to bring attention to the fact was for a friend to say, “I see there’s grass on your prayer trail.”
Which brings us to the point of this meditation: Is there grass on your trail? How is your prayer life shaping up? “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God . . . “Deuteronomy 8:11.