I drive by a daycare near our neighborhood, and occasionally it’s when the kids are out in the play area. It’s so funny to see these three and four-year old tykes running around in this relatively small, confined area. I noticed a number of them right up against the chain link fence with their tiny fingers curled around the webbing of the fence staring longingly at the world on the other side. You could just tell these were the ones itching to break into a run beyond that boundary. It’s like they were expressing some level of defiance by clinging to the fence and not engaging in the frolic on the playground equipment. If that fence was not there, you can bet these little guys would be scattering in all directions in a mad dash to explore their new freedom.
Fences are good things. They define our property lines, they keep our kids and pets safe, and they keep out the neighbor’s dog who insists on using your grass as his executive washroom. We put up fences to protect, to defend, and to preserve. We do the same thing in a figurative sense, too. We put up boundaries in our behavior, our relationships, our beliefs, and in many other areas. Many of those fences have been built by someone else, like our parents or other authorities, to define boundaries of acceptable behavior, etc. But sometimes you are the one who has installed the fences that you are now peering through to the other side. You have constructed your own limitations that now hold you in an imagined sense of security. But every once in awhile, you lean against that fence, curl your fingers around the webbing, and peer into the world beyond. You question what else is out there. You wonder if there is something greater and more. You imagine life beyond the fence.
The other side of the fence may be stepping out of your comfort zone to reach out to a people group different from you. It may be making a move to another job, another city, or even another country. It could represent a change in thinking, attitude, or worldview for you. Maybe it involves taking a risk, facing a new challenge, or just obeying God in faith. If this is what your fence represents, go through the gate. Step to the other side and experience the freedom that comes from getting out from behind the fence. Some fences are necessary, but some lose their significance over time. Don’t remain stuck behind fences of excuses, fear, or apathy while daydreaming about the world beyond. Make a break for it!