THROW YOUR HEART OVER THE FENCE—“On Fear, Risk, Joy & Wealth”

 I heard him murmuring…

Throw your heart over the fence* and the rest of you will follow!”  Have you ever heard those words before? Do you get the picture?  And who by the way… ‘put up the fence?’

Throw your heart over the fence and the rest of you will follow!”  Have you ever tried?  Did you find it difficult?  Did you discover a certain kind of exhilaration?  Did you get hurt?  Or, did the rest of you following your heart over the fence into a new place bring you to a new freedom to live a whole new way?

But, who put up the fence?  You?  Most likely.  It’s the protective wall we create on our own, all by ourselves to save us from the things that we are afraid of.  Think about it.  Really.  And what does that mean?  Simply this… that as we keep ourselves on what we believe is the safe side of the fence so that we do not have to engage our fears and mistrusts, we also exclude ourselves from the wonderful things that live side by side of the things we fear… how’s that for a new year resolution…????  Throw your heart over the fence and as you follow you just may experience a kind of life that you have never considered was even possible. 

There you go.  Resolute away.

And OBTW… Jesus once said, “where your treasure is…so will your heart be also…”

And thus… if your heart is where your treasure is… and if your heart is on the fearful side of the fence… and at this point it really doesn’t matter where the fence came from…then your treasure, at least according to Jesus, is shrouded in fear and protection rather than freedom and risk… which means we all walk about a bit ‘bound and gagged’ or at least carry with us a noticeable limp along our life’s way…

According to author of Genesis, God gave everything he had to the man and woman.  Everything.  Eternally.  To the crown of God’s creation he gave even access to the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and everything surrounding those trees.  There was just one stipulation…  “they could look; but not touch!” when it came to the Tree of Knowledge… Good advice for lots of things, actually!  But the writer of the opening chapters of Genesis reports that while there were no fences in that garden… the man and the woman were not content to have access to everything save picking the fruit off God’s favorite/favored tree… and thus their immortal lives became temporal lives and bringing to an end fairly quickly the best deal ever offered to anyone.  St. Paul had a take on this reality… he called it “the wages of sin” and the payment is ‘death.’ 

And so, it seems humanity has been building fences ever since for that is what we truly fear, right?  Death, disease and pain?  Loss of status, loss of place, unfulfilled dreams are always the realities of life that give us rise to found our own self-serving architectural firms to build fences and walls to provide safety and security from our own self-produced fears.

It’s what I call …are you ready for this… “cardi-graci-phopbia”… or the fear of the grace in one’s own heart!  We all get it from time to time.  God has filled our hearts with grace upon grace but we reject it and get used to the pain of living life our own way, on our own terms. It’s not a good thing to brag about even… But the real danger is that when we become familiar with THIS pain, we are reluctant to move ahead or back even 2 spaces and risk a different kind of pain (like throwing one’s heart over the fence!)  that will in time offer us a new life that is not only flowing with milk and honey along with blessings upon blessings but a life that is also eternal and just and wants the best for all…

It’s the reality we face that life is hard, difficult and complex.  But, there is still cause to offer our best as a response to the love of God given in us in Jesus.

Recently, I was asked about the sin of ‘jealousy.’  It seems a friend was jealous of another friend who had a pretty good size boat.  Hmmm.  Well, enter whatever word you like if you have some jealousy rising up in you…  But, my response to the question moved me to a caution about the consequences of “coveting”  which leads to stealing… but even before that… it’s important to say that jealousy seeks to kill love and when love is wounded or dying within us… there is little joy to celebrate…

In a short reply I simply said, “if you want to be jealous of someone or covet something they might have, then be ready to accept everything about that person as you focus your eyes on that one prize…”

For instance… you hear someone say…“it sure would be nice to have the power of the president!”  Yes, but that also means you have to hire guys to protect you and watch over your shoulder everyday as someone else wants to take you out or grab control of the power they think you have at your fingertips.  OR… you would like to live in someone’s else’s house as it is 3 times the size of the one you currently reside in… and that’s OK…but be ready to pay the gas and electric bill that are 3 times larger than the one you have now… see… asking to have just a portion doesn’t work… if you want that person’s life…be prepared to deal with all of it… his or her bratty children and  their 2 cats that use the neighbors backyard as a litter box causing phone calls at 2 AM when they start to howling…

And just in case you were wondering where you fit in this great big world when it comes to how good you have it or not… take a moment and give yourself a gift… click on the web-site listed here…

 http://globalrichlist.com/

The answer you get from the data you input will drop you to your knees…  just click… change the link to US $ from Pounds and then type in your household income and the site will immediately show you where you are on the scale of global wealth.

Then after you do that… ask yourself what keeps you from throwing your heart over the fence?  The rest of you will follow…

The initial quote* is attributed to the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale… one who trusted in the prospect that God’s ways are good ways… and as we seek out God and look for his grace in our heart we will find an increase in the quality of life we share…Jesus called in ‘abundance!’

So, if you are looking for new direction or a reminder of the faithful path of God in these early weeks of 2011… consider these seven verbs to guide your ‘doing’ and ‘being…’

Worship, pray, study, invite, encourage, give and serve… read them again and then just one more time and take them to heart and then…

Throw your heart over the fence…risk walking close to the very things that you fear and soon you will discover the fruitfulness of God that has been waiting for you on the other side of that fence all along…

 I’m all in!  God’s all over it… I know you will want to be, too! 

    Brian

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About briangigee

Loves life; lives love! Bud and Doris' eldest son. Descendant of 'refiners' and 'reformers.' Husband to Margo. Father of 5. Grandfather to 2. Brother, uncle, friend and colleague. Working parish pastor. Became a naturalized Texan in February 2013.
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4 Responses to THROW YOUR HEART OVER THE FENCE—“On Fear, Risk, Joy & Wealth”

  1. Bill Putman says:

    Thank you, Brian,

    God bless you and your ministry!

  2. Sue says:

    I really enjoyed this Brian – it gave me a lot to think about…….

  3. Kant Chander says:

    I Love Your Website. Essentially every post makes me crack
    up, analyze things, and learn something.

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