Do you remember the last time we had our church parking lot sealed?† I do.† Actually, what I remember is the Sunday after we had the lot sealed.† Without the yellow lines on the ground to tell us where to park our cars, that lot was somewhat chaotic.† We couldnít get nearly as many cars on the lot as we normally do.
I also remember when they were widening Beltline Road to put the center turn lane in.† It was interesting to drive that road the first few days after they put new blacktop down.† There werenít any lines in the road, just strips of tape that sort of marked the centerline.† It was confusing and unnerving until they got the lines all painted.
Another time of confusion came one day after a thunderstorm knocked out the electrical service and the traffic lights werenít working at the corner of Beltline Road and Vandalia Street.† You really had to be careful and look in all directions several times as you pulled out to make sure someone else wasnít coming across at the same time as you were.
The truth is we need guidelines in life.† We need restrictions in order to free us.† Some might argue that real freedom would mean that we could drive our cars wherever we want without regard to the restrictions of lines.† They would say that total freedom would mean they would never have to wait for a light to change, and could park their car wherever they wanted.† Of course, that would not be freedom; that would be anarchy.† Since we all share the same roads, intersections, and parking lots, we have agreed to abide by certain lane restrictions, traffic signals, and parking lines.† It is in everyoneís best interest to conform to the rules of the road.
This same principle applies across the full spectrum of life.† There is the totality of the law of the land that establishes boundaries for acceptable behavior.† The laws donít exist just to stop us from having fun, they are there to protect us and the rest of society.† The laws establish a structure, a framework in which we can live safely and productively.†
God has given us spiritual laws for the same reasons.† They exist, not to spoil our fun, but to protect us and to free us to reach toward our full potential.† The psalmist said, ďI run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.† Psalm 119:32.† Thatís exactly what Godís commands do for us.† They form a path in the wilderness.† Have you ever tried running through high weeds and grass.† Itís hard.† Itís dangerous too sometimes, because you canít see where youíre going.† When there is a path, you are free to run.† When you have a path, things get a lot easier.† God sets our hearts free by giving us commands that create a safe pathway through life.†
Later in that same psalm the writer says, ďYour word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.Ē† Psalm 119:105. †The word of God lights our way.† The truth is, for us to be truly free to discover, to grow, and to become, we need the restriction of Godís commands.† They give us a track to run on.† The pathway of Godís commands leads to happiness, peace, love, success, and all good things in life.† Read all about it in his book, the Bible.† Have you read The Book lately?