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Exodus 22:16-31, Social and Religious Laws

Friday, June 15

Attention Distraction Difference

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

Since we've been talking all week about the laws and ordinances God has laid out for Israel, which was in dire need of self-governing, let's take a different look at this particular text. This whole passage seems to me kinda... random. It bounces from unmarried virgins to sorceresses to bestiality to idol worship to firstborn offerings and sacrifices. It makes me think... maybe God is just as scattered as me! (Ok, there's no way God is just as scattered as me, but follow me on this.) Maybe there was so much to say, and God wanted to make sure to get it all in there, that it came out sort of stream-of-consciousness. 

So today let's celebrate those of us who have a little (or a lot) ADD. The psych community has labeled it ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder. But I think of it as ADD: Attention Distraction Difference. An attention deficit disorder implies a lack (deficit) and a problem (disorder). Attention distraction difference implies a characteristic (distraction) and a difference (well... difference). 

Remember Dug, the squirrel-chasing dog from the movie, Up?

My life feels like that sometimes. Honestly, it's not so much that I can't focus on one thing for long, it's just that there's so much more out there to see! If I ignore the squirrel, I might not get a chance to see it again. So I bounce from thing to thing, my mind always racing, always planning and dreaming. 


But I'm not stupid and I can concentrate when necessary. My business partner (forgive me, Danno!) and I share this distraction trait, and when we get together for work days, our conversations wind around and around like the path of a bumblebee. Interestingly, we always seem to backtrack our conversations on the same trajectory, so by the end of our time together we've actually covered a lot of ground. We get a lot done, just not in a straight line. People with these gifts are crucial to our society. These gifts have brought us airplanes and light bulbs. We need dreamers. We need people easily distracted because those people see things others don't see.

So go hug someone with ADD (or ADHD, if you can catch them) today. Thank them for their... wait, what was I saying?

Narrative Lectionary Text: Exodus 22:16-31

When a man seduces a virgin who is not engaged to be married, and lies with her, he shall give the bride-price for her and make her his wife. But if her father refuses to give her to him, he shall pay an amount equal to the bride-price for virgins. You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live. Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death. Whoever sacrifices to any god, other than the Lord alone, shall be devoted to destruction. You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. You shall not abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them, when they cry out to me, I will surely heed their cry; my wrath will burn, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children orphans.

If you lend money to my people, to the poor among you, you shall not deal with them as a creditor; you shall not exact interest from them. If you take your neighbor’s cloak in pawn, you shall restore it before the sun goes down; for it may be your neighbor’s only clothing to use as cover; in what else shall that person sleep? And if your neighbor cries out to me, I will listen, for I am compassionate. You shall not revile God, or curse a leader of your people. You shall not delay to make offerings from the fullness of your harvest and from the outflow of your presses. The firstborn of your sons you shall give to me. You shall do the same with your oxen and with your sheep: seven days it shall remain with its mother; on the eighth day you shall give it to me. You shall be people consecrated to me; therefore you shall not eat any meat that is mangled by beasts in the field; you shall throw it to the dogs.

Earlier Event: June 14
Exodus 22:1-15, Laws of Restitution
Later Event: June 16
Exodus 23:1-9, Justice for All