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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

"Shut de do!"
Date Posted: February 21, 2004

One of my favorite songs to teach the kids at church is "Shut De Do." Or translated to twenty-first century English, "Shut the Door". The chorus says "Shut de do, keep out de devil. Shut de do, keep de devil in da night. Shut de do, keep out de devil. Light de candle everything's all right."

The verses go on to talk about how evil Satan is and how he tries through our lifetime to tempt us. I hope you can follow my train of thought as I explain what brought me to this column.

On days when my husband and I both work, I drop off my two-year old at my parents' house. My father is usually waiting and comes out to get my son so I don't have to unbuckle and get out. (And I really appreciate this, especially when it's raining or icy.)

For this illustration to make sense, you have to know my father, but I'll try to explain myself. My father is the type of person who does everything cautiously and meticulously. It takes him two days to mow the yard in just the right direction, with the sidewalks edged to a perfect inch-and-a-quarter. (Not that there's anything wrong with that -- it's just the way he is!)

Anyway, many mornings after he gets my son out of the car and says all the proper "good mornings" and "have a good day at school" to my seven-year-old, he closes the back door and waves as they go in the house. (Let me emphasize closes the door -- not slams, or even shuts, but closes.) It's a very gentle pushing motion meant to prolong the life of the vehicle, no doubt. It may even actually work on newer cars or well-oiled doors. On my ten year old SUV, however, the result is often that the door is not completely closed and it hisses and bumps all the way to school.

Perhaps this is using the back door to get to my point, but after it happened again today it reminded me of the way we sometimes try to close the door on sin in our lives. Maybe our intention is to politely walk away from a bad habit or situation. We don't want to offend anyone by condemning them, so we just ignore the sin.

Maybe we ease the door closed, but it's not shut tight. Not slammed down with a statement that we want it to stay that way. It's closed just enough for us to hear the echo of sin come through as we try to walk away. The temptation beyond the door invites us with a barely noticeable call. How easy it is to drift back to that door, just to check where the noise is coming from. And since it's open, let's just take a quick peek . . .

Sin can creep in so easily from so many directions. Those doors we're closing when we repent need to be slammed so we have one less direction to worry about.

Though we tell our kids not to slam doors, let's make an exception to that rule when it comes to slamming the door on sin. Ezekiel 33:11 says, "As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! "

Shut de do on de devil! On second thought SLAM it!

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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