By Brock Bondurant
Psalm 16:6 – The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
Everywhere I look I am being told how great I am. I open up my phone and every app and website makes me the point. I drive down the road with signs and billboards telling me how important and special I am. Social media gives me a whole page dedicated to me where I can display all the best versions of me: what outfit I look best in, what event I attended, and what amazing meal I just had for dinner. This world tells me I’m the point, that I can be anything I want to be if I just follow my heart and my desires. It tells me I make a great god.
But I know me. When I’m told how special I am and how I can be anything that I want causes anxiety and depression because I can never measure up to those standards. I know me, and I know the thoughts that cross my mind, the freak-outs I have when no one is watching, and the way I am a lot less farther along than I thought I would be by age 27. Now I’m racked with anxiety; I’m depressed. I feel hopeless.
Being constantly told that I’m the point has made me believe it too. Only the world doesn’t seem to reinforce the belief it sold me. In fact, everyone else seems to be living as if they were the entire point of humanity, not me! Traffic is moving too slowly, there’s too many people at the gym this morning, and the community fridge at work ran out of hummus. Now I’m angry. Don’t they know that it’s all about me?
The world tells me that I can have it all; that I should have it all. I need a new car, a perfect relationship, six pack abs, and a growing bank account. Anything I want can be mine. I am the god of my little universe. This means I’m also able to set the moral standards (blame someone else when I don’t live up to them) and pass judgement on anyone who infringes. I decide what’s true for me. I am in control.
Only I’m not in control. I can’t do it all; can’t have it all. I can’t decide ultimate truth because my desires are always shifting. I’m not the point. I am unique, but I’m not that special. The truth is that I can’t do anything I want or be anything that I want to be. But what if I weren’t meant to?
The above verse has always been a favorite. One translation is, “The boundary lines have fallen in pleasant places.” I love that. There are boundaries that when I live into them I experience life, true life; the life that Jesus calls life abundant or full (John 10:10). That has changed the way I view Scripture. If God is God and I am not, then the commandments he has in place for me are for my own good. After all, if He created it all then I have to believe that he understands how it all works best.
If I’m not God, then it’s not expected of me to do it all. That’s comforting because now I can just be human. No matter how perfect the façade on Facebook or Instagram may appear I know how flawed I am. I’m not perfect. I’m not the point. And if I’m not the point, then I don’t have to stress out and get angry or frustrated about trivial things like traffic.
Boundaries are a good thing. Living within God’s guidelines leads to flourishing. He has set commandments in place for my good, so that I may experience the life he has on offer. The natural limitations of being human, NOT able to do everything is something to be embraced as well. This should increase my reverence for God when coming to the end of my capabilities knowing that His have no end.
So embrace your humanity today. You don’t have to be the perfect mom, have six pack abs, and the largest 401k in the company. You can live and experience true life within the boundary lines God has set for you. Living within your limitations is living in contentment. And you still get a beautiful inheritance.