“Don’t mistake fences for walls. Walls can feel closed in and tight. . . . Fences aren’t intended to divide. Good fences protect and preserve the beautiful things you’re growing. Fences communicate your belief that your land holds life worthy of safeguarding.”- Jennifer Dukes Lee (emphasis author’s)
“A man without self-control is like an city broken into and left without walls.”- Proverbs 25:28 (ESV)
In Chapter 10 (“Good Fences”) of Growing Slow, Jennifer Dukes Lee observes that fences represent a way to take care of what you’re growing in your life. Thus, fences help you delineate your responsibilities. Also, fences mark where your responsibilities end and someone else’s begin.
However, sometimes we need others to point out where our fences need mending. Or reveal places where we need to erect fences. In her book The Next Right Thing, Emily P. Freeman describes the benefit of a ‘No Mentor.’ Someone who’s straightforward as well as unapologetic. Emily continues:
“A No Mentor is there to help you feel confident about saying no to the things you really don’t want to do anyway or to help you finally discover your strong, brace you in the midst of fear.”
Yet, at some point you may feel the temptation to widen your fences. Move those posts out a little further. Because that enables you to plant more seeds, perhaps producing a bigger harvest. But, Jennifer counsels, let the Lord move the fences.
In conclusion, Jennifer asserts that no matter what you’re growing these days, you possess the freedom to see yourself as a complete, whole person. Consequently, fences function as a way of taking care of yourself, just as you are. So, access your God-given right to simply abide in the place where God’s settled you.
Therefore, rest, sit still, and take care of the matters at hand. Just remember, some fences exist to keep toxic things out. They also hem you in. In these ways, God stewards you.
Today’s question: How do good fences protect and preserve the good things you’re growing? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The Lord of the Harvest works steps ahead”