It’s hard for a two-year-old to stay in the boundaries.
“I will run in the way of your commandments, when you enlarge my heart!” -Psalm 119:32
There they were, my godson and his friend, two little boys running ’round in the fresh-cut grass with a solid blue sky overhead. As the sun slowly set behind the house, the kids were laughing and playing, chasing and tackling one another… and getting steadily closer to the edge of the lake.
“Boys,” said daddy, “you can play in the yard but don’t go past the shadow.”
It was a good idea, one that would give them plenty of room to maneuver but keep them away from danger. It wasn’t a small yard and the boundary gave them lots of space to play.
But they wanted to push it.
Closer and closer they got to the edge of the shadow, probably not with any wicked intent, they’re just little boys, after all. Yet there they were, right on the dividing line between obedience and foolishness…and then they stepped over it.
“Boys! What did I tell you?”
Needless to say, the boys got in trouble. Not a bunch, but enough to put them in time-out for a bit because they knew full well what the line was, and they crossed it.
Here’s the thing that struck me, though… the boundaries were expanding!
Like all shadows, this one was moving. The day was getting late and the sun was going down, so the shadow kept expanding. It was going to give the boys more and more room to play, if they would just be patient enough to wait for it.
Do you know that’s how God deals with you?
Certainly, there are some hard-and-fast rules that never change. “Thou shalt not commit adultery” doesn’t have an exception clause if you’re having a rough week. Yet, so much of what God calls us to do has much less to do with limiting our actions, and more to do with enlarging our hearts.
You see, you are only as free as your heart lets you be. (That would be a great post on Facebook or Twitter. Just sayin’…)
I have known people with barely any boundaries for how they live their lives, and they are some of the most enslaved I’ve ever met. I’ve known others who have very regimented habits, and they have an inner freedom that most of us would be jealous of.
That’s what God wants for you.
When you look at God’s commands and how they relate to your life, remember this. His goal isn’t to restrict the boundaries of your freedom, but to lead you in to true freedom in Christ by expanding the boundaries of your heart.