As a counselor, I learned about boundaries. They were tools to be used when people get hurt. You are supposed to teach your counselees to set boundaries or fences so that hurtful people are not allowed to continue hurting them. For instance, if a particular aunt continually says hurtful things to you, continues to bring up things from the past, or even the present, that you cannot do anything about, you are to set up a boundary whereby that person no longer has access to you, to wound you. You avoid contact with that person. (Now that’s what they said. I am not sure that is the first way you deal with those kids of issues.)
Or if your child is continually bullied by a friend or someone in his or her social circle, you are supposed to teach your child to find other friends. You are to help your child recognize that he or she is allowing this person to hurt them, and they need to set up boundaries so the person no longer has access to them.
Now those kinds of boundaries can be very helpful, but this morning I read about another kind of boundary, and this one directly Involves You and me.
God means for us to be a part of community, especially the community of faith. That’s why we find over 30 one another commands. I am speaking about Scripture verses that call us to be involved in each other’s life. For example, we are called to love one another, to comfort one another, or to be kind to one another.
The problem is we can be so family and community and duty focused, especially at this time of year, that we busy God out. Think of that awful loud busy signal we used to get on our phone, or maybe you still get. Think about how God might feel when He gets one of our busy signals.
God loves us. He wants a relationship with us. He wants us to talk to Him and us to listen to and for Him. BUT, we can find ourselves so busy with good things and good people and good ideas, that we fill up the time He wants to have with us.
I speak from experience. For years, I started my day at my desk and with my Bible and prayer time. Then this last year when all of my scheduling went kaflooey with travel and a new presence in the house all day, things changed. I moved my time with God to the end of the day. And after a while, I felt like something was missing. I had lost something. I still spent time reading my Bible and praying, but it was at the end of the day. And honestly, I began to feel like I was starting my day on my own.
Then someone at church mentioned https://www.first15.org You can subscribe to this service and they send you a devotional right on your phone or computer. You get Scripture, thoughts that develop how that Scripture relates to your life, and even a worship song.
And today it was about boundaries. So here I am, full circle. God saw my loneliness for Him and gave me a new way to start my day, one that doesn’t require me to be at my desk. One that allows me to make new boundaries – the kind that makes space once again for Him in the morning. I know I could do what I am doing at night – in the morning, but now I get to do both. Now I can use boundaries at both ends of my day to put away those other distractions, no matter how good or useful they are to listen and learn from God. And maybe that’s one of the most meaningful presents I can give God this Christmas season. More of me.
Just some things I have been thinking about this week
Carol Brennan King
About the rabbit fence: I needed a photo of a fence and though this fence is not about fencing out hurtful people, it does illustrate a fence to keep someone or something out or away.. Forgive me, I just love rabbits. http://pestkill.org/other/rabbits/how-to-keep-out-of-garden/
https://www.amazon.com/ECVISION-Vintage-ROTARY-fashioned-Telephone/dp/B00A66R3YY You can still buy them.
https://teachingthem.com/2016/06/02/the-one-anothers-of-scripture-infographic/ This site is worth checking out.