Friday, May 20, 2011

Please Fence Me In

I saw a brand new colt yesterday, only a few days old. She seemed so thrilled being alive. She’d pounce around a while then tear out running. She was a bit clumsy but if you consider the fact that a few days ago she was folded up inside her mom, bound by the restraints of a womb, she was amazingly agile.

Freedom does that. It opens us to a whole new experience of life. The little colt’s joy was genuine.

Then I noticed the fence around the small pasture. Oops, she’s restrained again. Her freedom, as wonderful as it is to her, has limitations. Why would someone set her free then restrict how far she can take her freedom?

I also watched her mom who was grazing in the same small pasture. Though she was enjoying the grass she never lost sight of her fold. She was an every-present overseer to the activity of her baby and was prepared to take on any intruder that might want to harm her little pony.

Okay, the obvious parallel: Paul said we are free in Christ but not given a license to live by our fleshly desires. We are free so that we can refuse the impulses of the flesh and live by the power of the Spirit. With such a strong flesh, I need boundaries.

The little colt needs a fence to keep her from taking her freedom toward danger. There’s a highway nearby, there are dogs around, there are unscrupulous people who would steal her away. She has no clue. She has no concept of danger. She has no discernment of what to fear and what to trust.

To help her, the owners have fenced her in. Harsh in terms of restricting her freedom but loving with regard to her ignorance. She needs boundaries to keep her safe.

I do to, but for a different reason. If I give in to my own desires I’m going to get into trouble. I cannot do what I want, because what I want isn’t always what God wants. Freedom brings responsibility. I am free to rebel but not without consequence. I am free to obey but not without denying the urges to disobey.

The little colt is going to be a show horse. She was bred for success. She’s not a pasture horse. She’s going places no pasture horse has ever gone. But whenever she’s in the pasture she’ll have to get used to the fences.

God, thank You that in giving me freedom You also give me boundaries.

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