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Tuesday Thoughts 7-25-17

Do you know that feeling you get when you come to an end of a project and it turns out great?  Well, my big summer project was obtaining a vehicle suited for towing my camper and getting both vehicle & camper ready by the time our annual church camp came around.  The car I found needed work that was time consuming but not major, and the camper needed some plumbing (so, time consuming too) and deep cleaning.  And, praise God, it all got done just in time!  So I started out on a Sunday afternoon for a three hour trip (I hear the Gilligan’s Island theme in my head!).  The Ford Expedition ran admirably, the trailer brakes and lights worked great, but I still had to pay attention to something…keeping the whole thing between the lines.  Have you ever towed anything like a twenty four foot camper?  It’s not terribly hard, but it’s not like just tooling around in your car or even towing that little utility trailer with your mower on it.  There are different forces at work (especially when a semi passes) that require concentration.  Now, the reason I want to stay between the lines has everything to do with what becomes possible (and likely) on the other side of the lines.  If I go off to the right and get the whole rig into the dirt, I could get easily pulled off into a ditch, some trees…in a word, disaster.  If I stray over the left line, I can disrupt traffic, cause a jam or an accident (freeway) or get hit head-on (2 lane).  Those lines are my friends!  This reminds me of the words written in the Old Testament book of Psalms, “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” (Psalm 16:5-6 NIV).  For my camping trip, the secure and delightful “inheritance” is that safe space between the lines.  As long as I stay there, the dangers on the other side are not possible, but if I cross over, I will quickly become a not-happy camper.  What about the boundaries that God continues to call us to keep?  You know, those “annoying” things like kindness, generosity, and compassion, or those “limiting” lines of right and wrong, good and bad?  No list is needed here.  Every one of you is thinking about something specific as you read.  What if, instead of whining about what we might be missing, or how difficult it is to stay within His boundaries, we treat them like the lines on a highway?  They aren’t evil, they’re good!  The call to keep from crossing the lines isn’t a threat, rather, a warning…a guard against the natural consequences of being on the wrong side of the line.  We all know that if we were to weave wildly from side to side, all across the road, eventually the car would be crumpled, upside down in a ditch and people would be hurt.  How much more do we get turned upside down, wrecked and hurting others when we abandon the secure and delightful place around which Jesus has placed loving boundaries?  Change your heart-cry.  Confess the goodness of that line you’ve been complaining about.  Enjoy the safety in the center.

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