don’t fence me in

My son made the most interesting statement on the way to school this morning. He said, “So there are a couple different places around the school where we can escape.” I chuckled out loud and said, “Escape? It’s not a jail.” To which he responded;

“Well, there are fences.”

Upon further discussion, I discovered that he thought the fence was there to keep him in. He literally felt as though it was a form of restraint, that it carried with it a negative connotation. His last school had no fences or gates, he currently doesn’t enjoy school… There ya go – jail. Or purgatory.

So we discussed how fences keep kindergartners from wandering into the trees or street and how they prevent animals from coming in…fences and doors make sure the people are on campus are safe and there for a purpose that is in the best interest of children and staff. Gates ensure that the culture of learning and a safe atmosphere are maintained within those walls. What he saw as a cruel means to control him, became an opportunity to feel free behind its safety. He saw purpose and value where there had been control and negativity.

Our natural minds instinctively categorize information through existing filters, formulated by culture, family or origin and life experience. They are truth to us and we can hold them very tightly to ourselves, even in light of new information being introduced. Our filters, become our gods. And sometimes, our self-inflicted obstacle to growth.

Without all the information, or life experience, my son’s precious 9-year-old brain related to the new experience as an obstacle. In the past year and a half, he has moved from the occasional complaint to a daily objection over school attendance. I am now contemplating what sorts of changes he has experienced since attending a new school has been processed by him in a manner contrary to its actual intent.

What in your life do you see as a symbol of negativity? of oppression? Are there “walls,” boundaries or circumstances that you currently perceive as being a hindrance? Could some of those situations actually be opportunities presented? When we choose to filter everything through the truth that God has uniquely designed each of us for a specific plan and purpose in this life, we will shift in our understanding of what is before (and behind) us. The veil is lifted and our minds are set free to overcome areas we thought impenetrable.

Walk to the other side of the fence. Turn from facing east and face west. Lift your eyes from the ground and meditate on what is above. Freedom is waiting for you.

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