long and winding road 3

Grey.  It’s that color that’s somewhere between black and white.  It’s in the middle.  It’s “achromatic” or devoid of color.  It’s the color of compromise, the color of a foggy day when you just can’t see ahead, the color of neutrality.

And our world is fast becoming more and more grey.  All shades of grey.  More than fifty, I’d say.

I am not going to pretend I’m an authority on the movie that is about to come out, ironically,  just before Valentine’s Day. I didn’t read the book.  I didn’t see the movie.  But I’ve seen quick clips that give the viewer the gist of what’s to come.  Pretty black and white clear. It’s not too difficult to see where the movie is going to take the viewer.

Life is full of ironies.  Lots and lots of ironies.  It seems to me that one of those ironies has to do with the fact that oftentimes, the more we seek satisfaction, the less satisfied we are. And the more we turn sex into a sexual exploit rather than the good gift that it is, the more it becomes an endless venture of seeking a destination that’s never found that drains the venture of all that it was meant to be in the first place, a connection.  A vital connection to and with another human being.  That connection is one that by its very nature cannot be shared with an array of people.

Sex is a gift.  Period.  It just is.  It’s a gift to be given.  It’s a gift to be received.  But in the world in which we live the beauty of that gift is tainted.  It’s as though we take a precious gift that’s a beautiful mix of the emotional , spiritual, physical, and relational…all of those adding a splash of color, and take away the boundaries.  Any boundaries.  You know what happens when you thoroughly mix a beautiful array of paint colors?  You get grey.   A glob of grey.  Not a beautifully defined, painting, but a neutral glob of grey.

So many wonder why there’s a void, a spiritual black hole of sorts, that they feel in their relationships.  They want the connection without the boundaries, the satisfaction without the sacrifice, and the experience without the committment. The grey of compromise steps in as it diffuses any lines of expectations or rules or consequences, and then one wonders why the joy, the color, so to speak has been drained from their lives.

So here’s the thing. I believe we were created for Life with Color.  Not just a splash of color here and there, but all out techni-color, bright,  beautiful hues of living color. We were created for relationship, for joy, for passions and pursuits.  We were created for  the Greatest Artist of all time with a multidimensional limitless palette.  But in order to be able to live in that beauty, we need to have boundaries.  Fine lines that aren’t crossed to protect and guard what is precious. I’m not going to be specific on the sexual exploits of our society…I’m choosing to be grey in this area, because I don’t want to go into the explicit world  that is so damaging to others. But I want to cry out my children to stay out of the grey.  Know what you believe.  Live with boundaries, so that you truly have freedom in your life. That’s another irony.  Carefully chosen boundaries, margins, disciplines, and limits, lead to freedom. Freedom.  Limits lead to freedom.

One of the visuals that I have used so often with my own children (I think they’ve heard ad nauseum…sorry guys.  But maybe not sorry!) is that in life, if you start out with boundaries and wisely limit your choices, the older you get, the more freedom you will have.  It’s as though you start out with a narrow path that leads to wide open beautiful spaces.  But…But….if you start out with no boundaries, no disciplines in your life, the older you get, the more narrow your path will get.  It’s as though you start out with the open field and end with a narrow path with such limited freedoms, choices, and opportunities.  Sex is a gift that’s meant to have boundaries as well.

We are body, soul, spirit….physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. Where we go, they all go with us. We can’t separate them out for they are distinct parts of each one of us. This is not a ‘rant’ of judgement at all.  I know the temptations. I know consequences. It is a plea to wake up and see that there’s more and to identify the lies and truths that lead us down paths that we do or do not want to travel.  I have young adult children who I long to have freedom in their lives.  Not boundary-less freedom that leads to a narrow path, but wisdom based, choice-based freedom that leads to wide open fields of a life of joy and color.  That life of joy comes with boundaries.  It comes with predetermined decisions to not go down certain paths that will lead to lots of dull compromise and a life devoid of the joy and freedom for which we were created.

Yes, I believe that we were Created by One True Creator for a life of magnificent Color.  Life is a gift period.  It is a gift.  We are like a masterpiece, a colorful creation for others to see and enjoy and interact with. As paintings come in all styles and genres, we are all incredibly unique.  Would that we would guard and protect our hearts, our minds, our spirits, our bodies, in a world that wreaks of gray compromise.  Would that we would dare to be different and not lump our convictions and beliefs into a worldview that screams of acceptance of all, and judgement of limits. Would that we would identify the gifts in our lives as gifts and not demand that it’s all about us.  That’s another irony.  The more we give, the more we receive. Selfish pursuits lead to that black hole that is never satisfied and to consequences that may or may not effect every fabric of our being.

In a world of grey,  color stands out.  May those who choose to live lives of conviction and boundaries be like a beautiful bouquet in a fog,  a star in a black sky, a red cardinal in a bare forest of grey branches.  Beauty draws the eye. May courage to stand out in a world of grey draw peoples eyes to the amazing Creator who loves us more than we could ever imagine and created us as  a beautiful Masterpiece for all to see.  May we choose to be the unique soul we were created to be in the short time that we’ve been given in this life.  This beautiful, colorful, precious life. 

We were made for more than grey.  So much more.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. 

Romans 12: 1,2