Posted by: Jim E | January 28, 2010

Lines, Pleasant Places…A Simple Life…

I was thinking the other day about Max Yeley…Judie’ father…he died a few years ago…I can remember many years ago when we were visiting Judie’s folks…someone stopped at the house to pay them a visit…when the man came in, he joked about Max not having a TV in his house…made fun of his life and how he lived it…it upset me but didn’t seem to upset Max…

He had long before made decisions about how he would live…and no matter what other people thought, he was going to live that way…it was a simple life…not naive or ignorant but free from vanity or display…free of secondary complications…these were decisions that originated from his Christian beliefs…many might not agree today or may feel he was wrong…but that is how he lived his life…maybe Psalms 16:6 may give us a hint: “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places.”…

I have found that a simple life is certainly easier to “take care of” …what do I mean?…once we make up our mind about something…there is no need to make ‘judgment calls”…I know people may say that is a weak way to live…I say it is easier…less complicated…once something is wrong, it is always wrong for you…to do this we all need to draw lines…we do it anyway…we all have limits…it is where we set the limits, where we draw the lines…

Ravi Zacharias, in a May 2006, Decision Magazine article, in writing about Daniel…said, “The lines must be drawn, not because we’re being legalistic, but because we must not underestimate the power of the enemy.”…Lines, we all draw them…the question is, where?…that of course, is a personal decision…and all people draw them at one time or another, one place or another…from a Christian perspective, they usually come from the Bible…that is where Christians develop their view of life and how they will live it…

In the article Ravi talks about how Daniel did not train his actions but trained his hungers…Daniel didn’t want to become comfortable with the lifestyle of the culture…”do not develop the wrong kinds of appetites…you will have hungers that will stalk you, memories that will park themselves in your brain and will demand more.”…

I remember when I was 15…I saw a Dracula movie…I worked at a Boy Scout camp that whole summer…that movie bothered me the whole summer…I have never seen another horror movie since then…you may say, that is stupid, weak…I say, that is strength…I learned early not to develop appetites for that sort of thing…they will stalk you, memories that will park themselves in your brain and will demand more…I drew a line…

Even as a kid I never liked to go round and round…and get dizzy…and try to walk…never liked it…never wanted to be that far out of control…to fall and hurt myself…that seemed stupid…so when I saw my Dad coming home drunk and falling down, cutting his head, because he couldn’t stand up…him and his buddies thought that was funny…I didn’t…drawing lines not to control my actions (not drinking so much) but to control my appetites (not take part at all)…another line…

And so, a simple life…most of us have already chosen lines to be drawn…at one time or another in our lives…hopefully before too much damage is done…all of us long for a simpler life…and most of us are closer to it than at any other time in our lives…(or wish we were)…

And maybe we can say like the Psalmist (16:6), “The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places.”…or…”You chose a part for me that is very pleasing. Yes. My part is really very beautiful.”

(Lines-my portion, which was measured with lines.)…(Are fallen-in a land flowing with milk and honey, and above all, blessed with the presence and knowledge of God.)

So for Judie and I…He has chosen a part for us that is very pleasing, really, very beautiful…simple, but beautiful…

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