The World According to kcillini77

February 21, 2007

Standing at the Gate

Filed under: Christianity — kcillini77 @ 12:16 am

When we bought our house, my wife and I didn’t put much thought into how it would be navigated by a ten month old child. We have come to believe that an architect must have set out to design the “Home Least Likely to be Effectively Child-proofed.” The award is most likely proudly displayed in an office somewhere. This oversight has led to the addition of this monstrosity at the top of the stairs leading to our basement.The gate

As a father, it amazes me to observe how Brinton’s natural tendencies seem to be directed toward things that were not meant for him. He ignores his toys and opts instead to play with the dog’s toys or with the remote control. He passes up his bottle of delicious formula and tries to grab a soda or a beer left on the coffee table. Some of these actions are relatively harmless and lead merely to a cute photo-op.

Brinton with Champ’s ball

But when it comes to Brinton’s physical and mental safety, we have to step in. We set boundaries. I resort to becoming a very amateur carpenter and spend a Sunday ruining the home decor in order to keep him from breaking his neck. But in the real world there will not always be a gate and, soon enough, we will need to bring it down. In its place will be rules that we set and, hopefully, common sense that develops over time as he follows his natural tendency to break those rules. If we continue to enforce these rules and allow for natural consequences to occur when he breaks them, he should start to understand that the rules are there for a reason. They are not there to spoil his fun or to keep him from being “true to himself” by following his inclination to danger. They are established to protect him and enable him to be around long enough to live the life he is ultimately intended to live.

Through Brinton, I think I am starting to grasp how God sees me. He loves me unconditionally. He can’t wait to see me in the morning and all day long because it delights him to see me experience the life I was created for. But, like Brinton, I have a natural tendency to reach for things not meant for me. I grow discontent with my possessions and want what my neighbors and co-workers have. I prefer comfort on the couch to serving others. Just seeing a picture of an attractive woman can cause me to lust after her despite the beautiful wife God has provided for me. I would rather fill my body and mind with nacho cheese and reruns than with nutritious food and God’s Word. He set the gates up by teaching me his laws through the Bible. But if He forced me to obey and left the gates closed, I would just be a robot doing His bidding. In order for me have the capacity to show Him love, he had to open the gate and allow me to make choices.

Similarly, as Brinton grows, we will remove the gates, cabinet locks, flotation devices, car seats, and infinite other contraptions our life savings are currently going towards. We will forgive him when he fails to follow the rules, but more than likely he will experience his share of pain and suffering along the way that could have been avoided had he listened to his parents.

This is exactly why God established rules for us and spelled them out in the Bible. He is not trying to keep us from wealth or sexual satisfaction or a comfortable lifestyle. He wants nothing but the best for us because he loves us so deeply. He will forgive our sins if we want to be forgiven and accept forgiveness through Christ, but we will still remember the pain and scars we experience as a consequence of our actions.

Brinton sees that ugly gate as a barrier to some place that must be more fun.

Brinton at the gate

I know better, just as God knows better than I.

As I am tempted to indulge in one of my favorite sins, I picture myself as a young child approaching an open gate.

Brinton at the edge

I have a choice. But I can see that there is a gate on both sides of me and I know Who constructed it. Do I listen to my Father, or do I forge ahead and accept the consequences?

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1 Comment »

  1. I really enjoyed reading the gate. it is very true and at times we dont want to follow gods plans because we want control over what we do. although the smart choice is to choose gods way because he is the only one that makes our paths straight

    Comment by Sarah — February 22, 2007 @ 11:45 am | Reply


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