Note: For those who received an unusual picture masquerading as a blogpost from me, I’m sorry! I’m experimenting with Flickr, and well, it backfired. Sorry for the inconvenience!
Guardrails. I like ‘em.
I discovered something about myself while in Yellowstone.
I like being hemmed in. Boundaries protecting me from precipices and drop offs.
I relaxed most when we drove the flat roads with wide lanes and shoulders.
To experience some of Yellowstone’s beauty, we drove on two lane roads with no guardrails. What looked like sheer drop offs on one or both sides of the road had me gripping the arm rest on the passenger side of the car. My heart thumped out silent pleas for safety.
My husband, bless his heart, is such a patient man. One evening, as he navigated narrow turn outs and cruised over winding roads he said not a word about my behavior. Hubby is one of the safest drivers I know, so it wasn’t his driving, it was my fear.
Fear of careening over the side of the road. I couldn’t grasp that I was hemmed in by God’s beauty. Mountains dressed in shades of green, sunset skies painted in puffy clouds and pastels. The setting sun leaving tinges of rose and orange on the mountains as it kissed them good night.
God’s wild beauty hemmed us in above, beside and below. My eyes took it all in. My heart couldn’t embrace it, because fear already resided there.
My eyes straight ahead, followed every curve, studying how close we were to that skinny white line on our edge of the road. Fear had me worrying my husband might drive just a little too far over it.
Glimpses out the window had me sighing in wonder at the beauty, but always fear forced my eyes back to the road.
Yes, I like being hemmed in. I feel secure when the outer edges of my life show me the safe places to walk. Like children in an enclosed playground. They play right up to the fences because they know they’re safe. I’m a “within-the-fences” girl.
Sometimes God sets me outside my personal guardrails and encourages me to trust Him. When I step beyond my “safe place,” worry floods my thoughts, makes my heart pound. I search for an edge to cling to.
When my hand is encircled in His, I’m safe, no matter what life is doing around me.
When obsessing about safety, I miss out on the beauty God surrounds me with. Whether it’s in a child’s hug, a river sparkling as it flows over rocks on its path, mirror-still lakes, wild flowers lacing the side of the road.
It comes down to trust.
Am I going to let worry demand the final word, or am I going to trust God when He leads me into the wilds of His plan, His beauty? I’m slow at letting go of “safe,” but I’m learning to trust God in the adventures of life, as well as in the daily-ness of living.
What about you? Are you a live within or live-outside the boundaries person? What makes you feel safe?