Once we are on a path that has either a fence or natural boundary along the edge of the path, I let Dusty off leash. He is feeling good and free and wants to walk fast, explore and then run. So I let him go, even though I am concerned that he will hit his head on the fence, a tree, or even a rock. I continue to tell him “easy, easy” to caution him, and most of times he listens to me. Sometimes, I have to let him find the edge on his own, so that he stays on the path. My Christian life has mirrored this same pattern, feeling good and free, walking, exploring and running through life. Sometimes I have sinned, hit my head, body, and relationships on a rock. I have bounced back onto the path, but have always had some bruises, but then tried to learn from hitting that boundary. Distance from God has always pulled me back to the path, because nothing in my exploration of boundary limits or going off the Christian path has been worth losing my connection to God leading me in my life.
Once Dusty is confident of his boundaries, he runs. He runs straight, then trots fast, then runs, not knowing what is ahead. As long as the path does not turn too much, he can run by bouncing off the soft grass boundaries on either side. I tell him to “go” and then watch his joy which is evident in his wagging tail with a smile on my face. In the same way, God says go, run, trot, check the boundaries, but go confidently into the future. Many times in my life I have had to stop and check my boundaries when God’s word means something new to me, or changes my perspective on my life. Sometimes it has been a friend who has said, go, smile, run, walk, but know your future is in God’s control. And then He smiles at me running joyfully.