I got up this morning to let the dogs out.
Something was different.
The fence. The fence on the north side of the back yard, the old fence, the fence with a ragged bottom, the fence that now looked brand new.
I heard someone on the other side of the fence, so I walked around.
“What d’ya think?” My neighbor had a big smile on his face.
“What did you do?” I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard anything. He had to have worked through the night. “Why did you do this.”
“Pretty good job, huh? My uncle suggested it.”
“Your uncle suggested what?”
“Well, we were sitting on the back porch, drinkin’ beer, and I said,’You know what would be great? If I had about four more feet on the side of my yard.'”
“He said, ‘I’ll tell you how to kill two birds. Look at that fence.’ He was pointin’ at yours.” He stopped, looked at me, grinned, and said, “You gotta admit, that fence has probably seen better days. Pretty raggedy, yeah? Anyway, he said, ‘I’ll help you tonight. We’ll take that old fence down and put up a new one. Your neighbor’ll be so happy to have a new fence, he’ll probably never even notice that we took a few feet from his yard.’ You didn’t notice, did you?”
Oh, yeah, I noticed. I noticed real big.
“You can’t do that! You can’t just take someone’s property. You can’t move a boundary line. There are laws.”
“Yeah? But you just got yourself a new fence.”
I felt like my head was going to…”I didn’t ask you for a new fence!”
“And that’s the beauty of the whole thing. I gave you a brand new fence. Free. Cost you nothing.”
“You’re gonna have to move it back. Back to the property line.”
“Well, now, I’ll have to charge you for that. It’s a pretty big job. These fence posts. I put ’em in concrete. That fence ain’t goin’ nowhere.”
Now, I have to admit, this didn’t happen the way I told it.
Actually, it didn’t happen at all.
But what if we were created with moral boundaries?
Rules that were planted inside us, to give us guidelines on how to live with each other, how to please our Creator.
Then, some unscrupulous uncle comes along and tells us that we don’t have to stick to those boundaries anymore. That there are ways around them. And we will be a lot happier if we do move these “property lines”.
And, what if we believed Him?
And we started moving them, just a little.
“Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your ancestors.”
Proverbs 22:28 NIV