Get off the Fence.
One of the most impacting moments of my young life was a room filled with teenagers and young adults where for the first time I heard honest conversation about boy-girl relationships. The adults talked very candidly about kissing, making out, and various things that teenagers play with. My 12-year -old ears were at max volume.
The thing was, I was just coming into 7th grade, just coming out of a pudgy faze, very interested in girls, but for all my outward confidence, scared to death of the fairer sex. None of this was even real to me. My dad’s sex talk to us boys had been a book we barely understood but were paid $5 to read.
I remember very clearly the line drawn that day. French Kissing was as far as you could go. Beyond that was sin. Later, one of our advisors at a youth camp put the line at “if you get a rise in your levi’s, you’re sinning.”
Hold on, this isn’t a post about teenage sex. It’s about the line.
Can I or can’t I? What’s wrong or what’s right?
Maybe because I’ve stepped over the line a few times, told a ”white lie,” misrepresented a story (evangelistically speaking) that I’ve had to think through where I want to land.
Then I found the story of Joseph in the bible. His boss’s wife wanted him. Real bad. Tried to get him to cross the line. If you read the Bible, you know he ended up in jail because he refused her.
But there is a line in there that I’ve come to live by.
“He wouldn’t be anywhere near her.”
You see, Joseph wasn’t answering the question of where was the line. He lived his life far from the line. And because of that, his character has become legendary. 3 mayor players in the whole Bible make it though with no Asterix beside their name. Joseph is one of them.
Imagine this. Walking along a fenceline on a farm in 1 million acre farm in West Texas. To your left is a million acres of freedom. But half your world is inaccessible. Then hop in your pickup and drive 2 days to the center of the farm and get out. Now, you can go anywhere, 360 degrees, and have no limits for days. What changed? Your position in relation to the line. That’s it.
I don’t want to live on the line. I want to live far from the line. A life lived far from the line is surrounded by safety and freedom. Living close to the line, you live in constant tension, millimeters from failure.