Posts Tagged ‘Gospel of Matthew’

wheat fields

Patches of gold dotted the landscape–the borders neatly trimmed by barbed wire fences.  The wheat fields resembled an old patchwork quilt; each square confined by the even stitches running across its surface.  Whether  you were a local or a visitor, it was a simple thing to recognize where one section of field began and another ended.

If only life were that easily defined.  But one area bleeds into the other like a country garden spilling over the confines of its makeshift edging.  The concerns of home life influence work…the demands of work are carried home.  I’ve always struggled with setting relational boundaries.  Boundaries with loved ones.  Boundaries with co-workers.

Yet, the simplicity of a Montana wheat field appeals to me.  Its borders, neat and trim–are defined, recognizable, unmovable.  Boundaries.

More and more I understand the importance of those boundaries.  They provide guidance to the farmer as he trolls down a strip of land–offering a place for seeds to find protection from the winds and harsh temperature extremes.  Boundaries.  They determine ownership– a respect for one person’s claim on soil stretching from fence to the next.

I’ve begun to stretch and pull the wire across areas that need definition–even protection–in my life.  Those challenging work situations?  They belong at work; confined in one specific place and time.  That challenging relationship with a dear friend?  I need to determine the difference between ministering and immersing.  Healthy boundaries; God-honoring boundaries–are meant to provide direction for  my life.  Which area needs the most care and attention?  Which is self-sustaining?

I’m beginning to notice a change–some definition on each day’s personal landscape.  Who knew there could be such a sense of freedom in drawing those lines and establishing boundaries?

Verse for Reflection 

As soon as the meal was finished, he insisted that the disciples get in the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he dismissed the people. With the crowd dispersed, he climbed the mountain so he could be by himself and pray. He stayed there alone, late into the night.  Matthew 14:22-23 (MSG)

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When I was a young woman–still in highschool–a beloved lady in my life accused, “You’re getting to be a fanatic.”

I hadn’t joined a group of extremists.  I didn’t  lock myself to a chainlink fence and protest nuclear weapons.  I didn’t even promote a political community.  What had I done?  I chose Jesus.  Really?  No–He chose me.  Even me.

Jesus didn’t mind my messy life.  Like a tender father bending down to dust off his daughter’s knees when she’d fallen from her bike, Jesus picked me up.  I love you.  And I fell in love with Him, too.

At the time, my feelings were pricked.  Fanatic.

Now?  At least this dear woman saw something different in me.  Could it be  Christ had begun his transformation in my life?  Did I talk about my First Love too often?  I’m not certain.

I haven’t been called a fanatic for years, but I might not mind.  These days people call it radical Christianity.

So…how do I live radically for Jesus?   Do I sell all of my posessions to feed the poor?  Do I beat my chest at the sin hiddend behind the walls of the “dance club” or sign a petition to protect an innocent life?  Maybe.  Those could be good things…important things.

But, maybe living radically where I am means serving my family with a servant’s heart.  Maybe living radically where I am means loving that critical person I had trusted before.  Maybe living radically where I am means trusting God with my children.  Maybe living radically where I am means still loving Jesus.

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