“You can’t make me!” This is the battle cry of children of all ages when confronted with brussel sprouts or taking a bath or cleaning up their rooms. Parents clench their teeth and use their superior logic to force compliance. The brussel sprout disappears into a napkin, and the adult enjoys a false victory. But the rebel never ceases to find opportunity to object against anything that is required of her.
Then adulthood changes everything. The rebel discovers no ones cares if she stays out until dawn. No one makes her wash the tower of dishes in the sink. No one forces her to make her bed before company comes over. This absence of tension confuses the rebel who enjoys conflict. The quiet voice of responsibility is no substitute for loud voices and slammed doors.
The rebel is driven outward to find a cause. If her apartment building forbids pit bulls, she has to have one. If the parking sign says 20 minutes, she leaves her car there for hours. Of course she smokes even though it will probably kill her. She loves to jaywalk and jump over “Do Not Walk on the Grass” signs. Speed limits and traffic lights are for submissive slaves, not her. Instinctively she finds ways to rebel against the parents that no longer lurk over her shoulder.
The only parent the rebel must still contend with is Her Creator. As a child, she readily accepted that God made her and loved her. Some of His rules, like not murdering or stealing, sounded good. When she was caught in rebellion, it was a comfort to know He forgave her. But a moral life? Too restrictive. Instead she went her own way, doing what seemed good to her. What made her happy.
Years later, the rebel is alone. Her selfishness cost her everything. As her best plans collapsed in ruins, she knows there is only one person to whom she can turn. Entering the church building she has scorned for most of her life, she brings her white flag to the altar.