In my work, I sometimes have to get two computers to talk to each other. The computers must pass certain tests of protocol before they can communicate. Computer A must send a series of messages to Computer B, which in turn must send a series of messages back to Computer A. If either computer sends the wrong message or sends a message out of order, the communication fails.

People, too, have customs and rituals (or protocol) to test each other to see if communication can be or should be established. Some of the rules of protocol are very helpful in facilitating communication: the rules can make us feel more comfortable because we know what is expected of us. But many rules of protocol only hinder communication: if we send or receive the wrong message, the communication fails.

Children are even taught that they can't always be open with other people. They might meet people who are perverts. They might meet people who just don't want to be loved. My head is beginning to understand why things are the way that they are. But I don't think my heart will ever be able to understand.

There are times when I am filled with such joy that I want to express that joy by giving someone a big hug. But what about protocol? It might be awkward. I might make the person feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. (And if the person is a man, I might get beat up.)

Why do I go to Sunday School? Our minister has said that when a person becomes a Christian, he spends a lot of time unlearning what he learned before he became a Christian. I go to Sunday School to learn new ways and ideas. I also go to unlearn old ways and ideas. You need to go to Sunday School, too. Ask God to show you why. You will get an answer if you take the time to listen.

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