Have you ever really thought about the traditions you follow and the "why" behind them? I think it is a healthy process to consider the why's behind what we do to see if they still have value!! I recently told this story to a group of moms at my church. The subject was "Setting Christmas Traditions for Our Families." I was asked to retell it. I will tell it as I remember it and then share a link that my friend Jenni gave me that has a slightly different version. I have realized since that there are many different versions of this story but the point is all the same. :)
There was a very faithful Christian living in China (I thought he was a missionary but I was wrong about that). He discipled many believers and was a great example to all. Every morning he enjoyed buttered toast for breakfast. However the butter was too firm to put right on the toast. Therefore he would set the butter on the windowsill to soften. He would faithfully meet with the Lord in Bible Study and prayer and when he was done his butter would be soft enough to spread on his toast.
He had a problem though. His cat would get into the butter while he was praying. Therefore, he would tie his cat to the bedpost so that the cat would not get into the butter and he could pray in peace. Each day he would put his butter on the windowsill and tie his cat to the bedpost before starting his Bible reading and prayer time.
Those he discipled took note of this habit but never asked why he did this. Wanting to follow this godly man's example of worshipping the Lord, they too would put their butter on the windowsill and tie their cats to the bedpost before meeting with the Lord for Bible reading and prayer. Generations later this practice was still carried out. :)
Here is a link to another version:
You do need to scroll down just a bit.
I often think of this story. Often times I am tempted to not only follow rules and traditions made by men but think myself more spiritual for doing so. It's in those times God has to pull me back and recenter me on the Truths in His Word! :)