Posted by: everynation | October 22, 2011

The Blessing of Boundary Lines

by Ron Miller

Two of my three boys play on baseball teams that I help coach. So, I spend many hours a week on the baseball field. My favorite time of the week is when we have baseball tournaments on the weekends.

It seems that our teams have a knack for getting scheduled for the early morning games. When we play early in the morning, we have to get up around 6am to get to the ballpark on time (I thought weekends were for sleeping in!). There are many negative reasons why we don’t like playing early in the morning. The biggest one for me is that it is early in the morning.

However, there is one positive to playing the first game of the day, and that is the fact that the field is in the best condition early in the morning. The dew is still on the ground, the field is soft, the infield has been raked, and the boundary lines are clearly marked.

As play continues throughout the day, the condition of the field deteriorates. The field hardens, the infield that is not raked causes ground balls to bounce unpredictably, slides when stealing bases result in certain skin burns, and the boundary lines become more and more unclear. Every once in a while an umpire will miss a call because the boundary lines are not well defined. A bad call on the baseball field always results in an eruption and outward display of outrage from the team, coaches, parents, and fans impacted by the call. When this happens, it makes the game less enjoyable.

Before every championship game in the tournaments, the field crew takes extra time to rake the infield and reestablish the boundary lines with fresh chalk. As the coaches, teams, parents, and fans of the two teams playing in the championship game watch and wait for the field crew to finish their duties, there is one thing that is very evident to all who are watching: this game is very important.

Coaching baseball for four years has taught me two things about boundaries: (1) Boundaries mean the game is serious, and (2) boundaries make the game more fun.

Do you associate boundaries with something that is negative and limiting, or something that is positive and liberating?

In Psalm 16:6-8 King David wrote this about his Lord and boundaries: “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. 
I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. 
I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.”

King David associated boundary lines with something that was pleasant. In fact, boundaries gave King David a greater confidence in the goodness of God, and a peace of mind knowing that while he lived in those boundaries, he was a recipient of God’s counsel and protection.

Just as a game without boundaries is not a serious one, a Christian without boundaries is not serious about his or her walk with the Lord. A game without boundaries is not as enjoyable and very chaotic. Similarly, a person without boundaries will live in chaos, and as a result, miss the life God designed for him or her. A person without boundaries will live in bondage and insecurity, while those with clearly defined boundary lines are liberated to live life with great joy and pleasure.

Have you established boundaries in your life? If so, I trust that they have fallen in pleasant places for you!

Ron Miller, Jr. is one of the pastors at Every Nation Tallahassee. He’s a sports enthusiast and was the Associate Director of a fitness center in his hometown in Florida. He is married to Cindy and fathers three incredible boys named Josiah, Ethan, and Noah.  Ron’s greatest joy in life is loving his wife and his sons.

Read the original post here.

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Responses

  1. This is so insightful. For the current season of my life I think i needed to hear the Truth in this. I knew boundaries aren’t always negative, but I seem to forget that a lot during different situations. I am glad you were inspired to write this.

  2. As a lover of baseball and boundaries, I enjoyed your post. In America we have witnessed our leaders from judges to politicians overstepping their Constitutional boundaries. We have a duty to protect the boundaries in our nation, churches, homes, and individual lives. Parents, Pastors, and Governors should be careful not to overstep their boundaries and we should all practice self-government and not allow others to steal our liberty. If God Himself gives us free will and does not impose His will upon any man, no leader has the right to impose their will upon another. We alone are responsible if we allow anyone to take our liberty which God calls us to protect.


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