This is a picture of my daughter.
Behind her is a 5’x10′ garden bed that I built.
Inside it is over $40 of soil I had to buy for this season.
I had one rule: you can dig in the dirt and throw the dirt and play in the dirt, but don’t throw the dirt out of the box.
So what does my 3-year old do? She throws the dirt out of the box. Exclusively.
I gave her freedom to play and explore and get messy and have fun in a pretty substantial garden box.
But she poured the dirt into the grass. I rebuked her as a loving father should. Then she poured the dirt on the edges of the cedar planks…all while staring right at me.
She never (ever) embraced the freedom I had given her. She simply wanted to see how I would react to her sin.
And we are all guilty of this.
Psalm 16.11 says “You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
We read this and say “Yes!” but then box Jesus in, confining our affections to a one-hour block on a Sunday morning.
We are given freedom in Christ; freedom to enjoy creation, freedom to enjoy pleasure, freedom to live.
Yet we trade in the eternal pleasures we have in Him for the manufactured pleasures rendered from a fractured heart.
This is (and has always been) our pattern. I didn’t have to teach my 3-year old how to find the boundaries and cross them. She does it on her own, all while staring directly back into my eyes. And this is why we need a Savior.