So...something has been bubbling up inside of me for awhile and I just gotta get it out! The subject of fences!
In my backyard, I have three different kinds of fences--two areas of wood fence, one brick fence, and one iron fence. I've come to love these fences because we live in an area where there are many predators. Routinely I will wake up in the night and hear the howl of a coyote. I've been told that a black panther has been spotted and that there are many wild hogs. My backyard is adjacent to Corp of Engineer land which goes all the way to the lake. If you've been to my house, you know I live close to water and woods. Even though that water looks beautiful and those woods are green and lucious, I know that danger lurks there.
We have three dogs--RazzMaTazz, Zara, and Daisy. Zara and Daisy live in the backyard and love looking at the woods and lake and all of the beautiful things surrounding them. But I know that they really don't have a lot of sense and I feel comforted knowing there is a fence surrounding them. Why? Not because I want to limit their experiences but because I want to keep them safe from predators. If we didn't have a fence in place, Zara would begin to wander closer and closer to the lake and begin to feel comfortable in the woods even though she is a city dog and doesn't know about predators. I watch the little bunny rabbits hop in and out and ignore the fences and am so fearful because I know the chances are slim that they will not be predator's prey.
I know that Daisy would probably stay in the backyard without a fence. When she was a young dog, she had a terrible experience. She decided to leave the protection of the fence and wander. She jumped the fence and was gone for over three weeks. She had on a tag so people could call the vet but no one ever called. We were so worried. We put up signs, called animal control, prayed..but no Daisy for three weeks. After this time period, animal control finally called and said they had picked up Daisy. She had lost a lot of weight and the pads of her feet were completely worn away from her frantic running. Since that time, she loves the protection of the fence. We have to call and coax to get her to leave the protection of the fence.
With Daisy being the older dog, she has tried to share her experience with Zara. We were staying at my parent's house last summer. We had just driven for about 12 hours to bring the dogs here. We were so tired and had finally been able to get in bed when we hear Daisy start barking. She barked and barked and wouldn't stop. Finally my husband got up and went out into the backyard to hush her. He scolded her and came back in. She started again. He went back out and she kept running around the yard. He got a flashlight to see what had her so agitated. She lead him to a hole in the fence and he realized that Zara had left the protection of the fence. We spent another hour looking for Zara and yes, we found her and the next morning fixed the fence! Now, one of our wood fences at home has a board loose. I'm worried sick about it because I know we need to fix the fence or there is a possibility that Zara could go through the hole and lose the protection of the fence.
Ok..why fences? Because the standards that we uphold are our fences. Many times we think our standards are to box us in and make us live a certain way. NO! NO! NO! Our standards are our fence. They keep predators out and keep us safe. They are the guardrails on the highway to Heaven.
We should love our fences because they keep us living where we should. When we begin to resent the fence and try to cross over is when we know we have lost sight of the danger. Also, we need to be like Daisy...when we see someone leaving the yard, do we cry out in warning or do we watch them go and shake our head while sitting in our politically correct hyponotic state? The church of God was not built on passive people. They wanted to stone Paul for his boldness and yet, we are afraid to call sin as sin? To voice concern when the fence is falling?
The more I pray and grow closer to God, the more I appreciate the foresight of our UPC predessors. They put some fences in place that have kept us on the path. TV was innocent in the 50s. TV is not innocent today. We need to put a fence on our media..we are letting predators such as sexual immorality, violence, etc creep into the yard because the fence is broken. I couldn't understand the big deal about Halloween until I lived in a state where pagan worship was everywhere on Halloween night. These fences that seem so silly to some have kept us on a path of holiness. Ok, some of you are as my dear dad would say, "riled up" but that's ok..I'm going to be Daisy and keep barking. If you don't understand our standards and their Biblical base, ask for Bible clarification and scriptures to study.
I am committed to handing over a heritage to my children that will take them to heaven. If I remove the fences, I won't be able to hand it over. I need to go home and examine my fences...are there loose boards and a possibility of predators entering my home? Have I grown complacent and no longer see the danger of something entering my yard?
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, [a]
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
You mean the rod and staff will help me dwell in the house of the Lord forever? It is the Word of God.
I love each of you and want to make heaven our home!