Boundaries. They keep things in. They keep things out. Sometimes they protect, sometimes they guide. Sometimes they are chosen for us. Sometimes we choose them for ourselves.
I love the visual of being on a narrow path…with few choices, clear disciplines, parameters born of conviction which one day….one day…after much discipline, and choosing to be hemmed in… leads to w i d e o p e n s p a c e s. Seems to me that’s what happens when we choose wisely. I’ve shared with my kids so many times that if they are wise in these early years, their options, ability to choose, freedoms will multiply as they get older. They’ll go from walking on narrow paths to wide open spaces. I just love that visual…and that truth. Am hoping that for my kids, and hope they want that for themselves as well.
Because… if they choose to walk on a broad path now and listen to the culture that says to “do what you want whenever you want however you feel”, well, it will lead from wide open spaces…to… narrow paths which continue to narrow. For the consequences of choices have a way of catching up with us. If we’re wise, they lead to new freedoms, options, choices. If not, they lead to a narrowing of our choices, our freedoms in our lives. When we choose boundaries early on, we get freedom, beautiful freedom, later. When we choose undisciplined lives, we get boundaries imposed upon us.
I guess as a mom of teens and twenties in a culture that equates freedom with the ability to do whatever you feel like, the word “boundaries” brings up a lot in my heart and mind. I’ve said the words, I mean, we’ve had the conversations… But each of us makes our own choices for sure, and finds our own destinations. People can lead and guide,but ultimately, we choose our own path. I know I did, and learned so much…some lessons so the hard way. I know the joys of seeing vast open spaces, and also the despair of having very limited options as a result of making stupid decisions. But, you know that feeling when you walk to the beach on a planked boardwalk that is so narrow that two people can barely pass, and then…then you come to the end of that boardwalk and see the ocean which takes up the whole horizon and the beauty is just breathtaking? I kinda think that’s a picture of what God wants for us, and what I’m praying for in my life and those I love. I’m learning to walk that narrow path in order to enjoy the amazing view. Yep, praying for wise boundaries that lead to wide open spaces…as vast as the ocean is wide.