Skip to main content

"In" or "Out"?

Oh, that every part of my life would remain in line with what You require!  Then I would feel no shame when I fix my eyes upon Your commands.  With a pure heart, I will give thanks to You when I hear about Your just and fair rulings.
I will live within Your limits; 
do not abandon me completely!  (Psalm 119:5-8 VOICE)

I looked up the phrase "in line with" in an online dictionary and saw this definition: "to cause to conform or agree with". Most of our challenges in life are because we have somehow become "out of line with" what God requires. We have chosen our own way, determined our own course of action.  We thought the "line" was too hard - it "confined" us too much.  On the other hand, when we chose to cross the line, we might have just realized our "newfound freedom" was just a little more than we bargained for!

As a young woman, just learning to drive, I was in my friend's car and she gave me the permission to drive.  Thinking I was hot stuff, I went barreling down the gravel road at a pace similar to that of Indy drivers intent on qualifying for the next race!  We were in the off-roads near Anchorage, enjoying an afternoon of fun at the lake, and there I was enjoying this newfound freedom.  There weren't any real "rules" to follow - no posted speed limits, not police officers with radar guns, etc.  Add to that the "let me show you how it is done" attitude I had as a youth and we had a recipe for disaster!

The afternoon fun came to a screeching halt when I high centered it in a large ditch to the right of the roadway probably carved out by run-off in mud season. The small hole my folly produced in the gas tank left a tell-tale reminder of my extreme ease at pushing the outer limits of the "line"!  We all made it home safely that day, but I was humbled and ashamed at my behavior!  I "knew" better, but didn't hold to what I "knew" because my desire to "impress" others overrode all sense of reason and rational behavior!

I don't think it should amaze any of us how easily we can push the limits on occasion.  We ALL have this tendency - maybe not by driving at break-neck speed on an unsafe roadway with a car fully loaded with people - but we do find ways to not only push the line, but cross it!  In tennis, when the ball strikes the line, the ball is called as "in bounds".  The player should have been able to respond to it and hit it back into the opponent's court.  The issue is that the ones which land "on the line" are so close to being called "out of bounds" that we can be fooled.  In life, the behaviors which come so close to the line can actually be the ones that give us the greatest challenge because we don't see the subtle difference between being "on the line" or just marginally "over it".

I think the best way to stay "in line" with what God desires for our lives is to ask him to be our "line judge".  This means he points out the boundaries to us, then he lets us go about staying within those lines.  At the point we are too close to the line, he will be the one to make the call of "in bounds" or "out".  It is the only way we can be sure we are making the right "plays" in life.  Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean