I am the Music and Movement teacher for my church’s preschool and I love it! Believe it or not, these little children teach ME lessons almost every day! I learn the art of forgiving quickly, finding wonder and excitement in little things, seeing beauty in the simplest of things and so much more. But, I also learn things that I don’t want to do. I learn lessons about myself. I learn lessons about God.
One of the most recent lessons that God showed me through my preschoolers is one of boundaries. I am currently taking the Holiday Victory class that meets just during the month of December. We are learning about keeping our boundaries of 0-5 as a way of living for the rest of our lives. BUT these boundaries are good and pleasant.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.
God gives me boundaries and rules in my life to keep me and others safe as well as to keep our lives running more smoothly.
Boundaries are everywhere! We have rules and guidelines in life, at work, on the ball field, at home, and in the classroom, just to name a few.
As a Music Teacher, I have rules in my classes too. They are not difficult rules, I mean we are talking preschool here.
Despite how young my students are, they learn that they are responsible for their own behavior while in my class. Basically, it’s your choice if you want to play or not. (as in…..play an instrument, play our music game, dance etc.) If you follow the rules, you get to play and have a great time. If you don’t, then you have to sit out and be bored. It all boils down to this: IF YOU DON’T OBEY, YOU DON’T GET TO PLAY. That’s it. Easy.
Now, let’s think about this. Isn’t that the way it is with us and God?
If I follow God’s boundaries for me, then I get to “play and have fun”. I get to eat anything I desire as long as it’s in the parameters of hunger and satisfaction. I don’t have to diet. I don’t have to obsess about my weight or my size. Yet, sometimes I feel like my preschoolers! When I see one of my kids throw a fit because she just plain ol’ doesn’t want to follow the rules, God reminds me that I do the same thing! (ouch! Really?)
I have even had children throw a fit because I won’t let them play with the fire extinguisher! (true story!) They don’t understand that my rules are there to keep them safe. (Hmmmm…..does that sound a little bit like why God has boundaries for us?)
Recently, I had a child who got angry simply because she just wasn’t getting her own way. We were getting ready to play bells with the song “Jingle Bells”. This is a favorite thing for all of my classes every year. Well, I had a child that just did NOT want to play bells. No problem, I don’t force a child to play an instrument if they don’t want to. It’s all good, right? Well, not today for my little friend Lillian (name changed). She got angry because she wanted to play something else. So she sat and missed out while all the other children had a wonderful time! They were dancing, singing, laughing and playing their bells! Poor Lillian didn’t even realize that she was missing out on all the fun! She was too caught up in the fact that she was not getting her own way.
Oh, is this just like me!!! How many times have I wanted to do things my own way? How many times have I not wanted to eat within my boundaries and either I did what I want anyway or sulked because I couldn’t have my own way? And so there I would be “sitting by the wall, sulking” when God has so much more for me to experience!
And God whispers to my heart….
Oh Dear One! How it is with you. I have so many wonderful things planned for you. So much more than this life can ever offer but you have to follow me to experience it. You cannot see nor understand what I have planned, but if you simply trust Me, I will take you there!
You see, just like I have rules and boundaries in my class to keep my kids safe, God has boundaries for us for our benefit. I am learning that these boundaries for us, this 0-5 eating are for our GOOD. It is for us to be at peace with our bodies. It is for freedom!
I am faced with a choice. Do I want to follow God’s boundaries and enjoy this beautiful life He has given me, or do I want to sit and sulk by the wall? Do I REALLY want to miss out on all the fun?? My answer is NO WAY!!! I want to be like little Lillian with her bells, jumping, laughing and dancing away to the music. I want to be FULLY ALIVE in Jesus and all that He has for me! Abundant Life….in Him and in the safe protection of His wonderful boundaries!
What about you? Do you think the boundaries of 0-5 are for your good? Do you have trouble staying in your boundaries? Do you find yourself “sulking by the wall”?
Let’s all follow God’s boundaries so we can “play and have fun” this Christmas without any guilt!