A couple of weeks ago I went to the high school in town to see the play "The Fiddler on the Roof". I have always loved this story, and this production was definitely NOT a disappointment. (I contemplated going back for another viewing the following week!)
Love for this story grows in my heart each time I see it. Here, a father is tied to his ways. He is comfortable with his life. He knows what to expect. However, he has 5 daughters. Yes, 5. These daughters are growing up in a "modern" age and have differing ideals on roles for women, marriage, and want to make traditions of their own.
The father stretches and bends over the course of the story. However, the point comes where he breaks. No. No more. He will not make any more exceptions for his daughter who wants to break tradition and marry a "foreign" man. He disowns her. He claims her as dead even though you can see his heart breaking.
His resolve does not change the daughter's mind, however, and she runs away with her new husband. Major change comes about and the family has to leave their comfortable and known life. The father again has to bend and stretch. In the end, he finds a way to accept and give his blessing to the daughter's new marriage.
This play and this story got me thinking about tradition, the rules, and expectations. Sometimes they are set up for us by a people group, or our family, or even for ourselves. They can make us feel safe, comfortable, and in control. They can also limit us. They can limit our thinking, our love, and our experiences. The balance is hard to master.
How long do we hold on to tradition for tradition's sake? When and how do we bend for progress? For new ideals? For each other? How does love bend and accept new?
How do I decide which of my rules are perhaps not as applicable now as they once were? I hope I know how to bend like the father and let love conquer all uncertainty.