As kids playing at the lake or on the playground, we would take turns dragging our heels backward in the sand to create “a line.” We would proceed to dare the other guys or group of guys to cross “the line”.
It was fun and someone would always cross the line, and the scuffle was on!
As we got older the lines became more precise. The chalk of the first and third base lines in baseball. The chalk of the out of bounds lines and the ten yard markers in football. The circular track lines to represent running lanes in track, and the painted lines of the basketball court.
These were the easiest lines to follow. It was fair or foul, an ample number of yards were gained or you were forced to punt. You crossed the finish line first or you didn’t. If someone stepped out of bounds or was in the paint for three seconds it was a turnover.
The invisible lines in life are a little more difficult to navigate. It started in school. No talking allowed, but they didn’t really mean no talking, just almost no talking. Then again, even that depended on the teacher and his or her mood for the day.
Then the invisible lines got even more difficult. So difficult in fact that if we danced too close to the lines we couldn’t even know if or when we crossed over them. If we didn’t know for sure, who could?
These invisible lines are measured through the heart or what some might call our soul. At the moment of infraction, we might not see or feel it, but God does.
It sometimes takes running the “instant replay” over and over in our mind until our heart finally “sees” it.
As a Lacrosse coach, there’ve been a few times I crossed over the line in our training regimen. I know I had to get very close to that line in order to get the girls in the best possible shape physically and mentally. It didn’t happen very often, I never meant any of my girls harm. I thought I was doing my best for them. Most of the times I did, but on a few occasions I went over “the line.”
That’s how invisible the lines are.
At which bite of food does eating become gluttony?
What action or thought turns ambition into greed?
When does admiration become lust?
At what point does proper discipline of children become abuse?
Is speeding in a car breaking the “law of the land”?
How many times can a person look in the mirror until it becomes vanity?
There are invisible lines that we can address in every aspect of our life. This list is just the tip of the iceberg.
The wisdom or talent to spot these lines in our lives come from our heavenly Father. That’s not to say we’ll ever be perfect at staying within them, but we bring Him honor when we try.
I’m encouraged by the people around me who strive to live within the lines or boundaries set by God. I’m even more encouraged when some of us who can’t see as well step outside the lines and are guided back inside the lines by the wise ones among us.
There will always be something or someone daring us to, “STEP OVER THAT LINE”!
We need to be watching through the eyes of our heart very closely, because… It’s a mighty fine line.