We have the cutest little dog named, Buzz.
He appears to be part Sheltie and part Welsh corgie. We got him from the humane society years ago.
Most of the time, Buzz is an ideal dog.
Lately, however, Buzz has been a little naughty.
Our house is behind some apartment buildings. There is a parking lot in between. After a couple of blizzards, workers blew snow from the lot into our backyard - creating a huge snow hill over the top of our chain link fence. Once the snow hardened, our little dog realized that he could just walk right over that hill and out of the yard.
He's escaped four times.
Each time it's happened, I've tried to remain calm and pray, but I've usually ended up frantically searching the neighborhood. One night I found myself yelling out our phone number to a pizza delivery man - just in case he saw our dog.
How the poor guy was ever supposed to remember that number while delivering a pizza, I'll never know.
All that aside, the Lord has been gracious and brought our little dog back.
But the whole situation makes me think about the boundaries we cross. How often in life have I strayed out of God's protective boundary and gotten into a mess? Hopefully, I do that much less now, but I know that in the past I haven't been much different than Buzz.
God has put boundaries in place for our good. Just like there's a reason we stop at a stop light, there's a reason that God tells us not to lie, steal, have sex outside of marriage ....
When we fail to stop at that light, we risk getting hit. When we fail to do what God says, we not only risk getting terribly hurt and hurting others terribly - we hurt God. We disobey him - the one who sent his only son to die for us.
What I have found in life is that I actually have the greatest freedom when I stay inside God's boundaries. Let me provide an example. When I drive down the highway, I stay in the right lane - the one that's marked by a boundary. I certainly can cross the center line and drive all over the road, but I risk being terribly hurt.
It's by staying within the roadway's boundary that I have the greatest freedom. I can drive many miles, stop at a favorite place to eat or even visit another state.
By staying within God's boundaries I can enjoy freedom from fear, grief, guilt and multitude of other problems. Best of all, I'm obeying my heavenly father.
Lately, whenever Buzz goes out in the backyard, I watch him. When he strays too close to the fence I call him.
He has been obedient to come back to me. And when he does, he gets a little treat.
He likes that very much.
One of these days, the snow will melt and Buzz won't have that snow hill for a temptation.
But for now, I just hope he remembers where he gets the best treats.