I grew up in wide open spaces where my backyard seemed to stretch forever. As a young child I remember looking out the back, through the screened in porch, to the horizon. A fence faintly filled my vision and crossed the horizon line as a marker for a beginning and ending. To my inexperienced self, the fence seemed miles away. Today I realize the backyard was not more than an acre at the most.
Childhood lessons point us to those wide open spaces. A place where our hearts remain free to finding new friends, dreaming and exploring bravely. Fences that mark a place on the horizon leave us wondering as children. But should not barricade us as we become adults.
This past week as I began praying to figure out what to write today, the word “fences” popped into my head. God chose this word as a reminder to keep my heart open to others, ideas, and especially to Him. I knew as a child that the fence marking the end of our property was a signpost of the unwritten rules of being a child. The fence lined a boundary that I was not allowed to cross.
Today my property is not lined by a fence, but I sense that it feels like it in how I approach life. I live with caution, a desire to know the landscape before exploring something new and with a smile here and there. But what I forget in my everyday living is that stretching beyond the fence line leads to so much more.
Questions fill my mind as I wonder how we let childhood freedom turn into endless restrictions as an adult. We scrutinize everything, live without trusting others and erect fences without even trying at times. We fight freedom believing that we will be happier living within strict boundaries. Instead of loving freely, we query each situation and person we cross paths with thinking the questioning will set us free.
The image of a fence closing off the perimeter of something conjures up limitations. But we are not called to live this way. True freedom is found in God. He calls us to live our lives in freedom with Him not in the confine of fences.
When we feel security in closing ourselves off, God prompts us to reach beyond our comfort zones.
Belief that we are happier when we present only a piece of ourselves gives God the opportunity to break down the barriers that we hold so closely.
Questioning everything and everyone has its merits, but how much better would it be if we trusted and loved others as God calls us to do? When we choose freedom in God, He shows us how to love and live without fences. He calls us beyond to more than we imagine and provides all we need.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 2 Corinthians 3:17
May you know how much God loves you today and everyday. Reach further than you have ever allowed yourself and see the magnificence that God creates.
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