Do you remember when you were coloring in your favorite coloring book and someone in authority (parent or teacher) would remind you to stay within the lines of the drawing on the paper?
The pictures hung on the walls for admiration were all of those pictures neatly shaded between the lines. The pictures were perfect. . .just the right colors in just the right places.
But what they had in neatness, they lacked in energy. So, most of us learned to color any way we wanted to – lines or no lines. It was our picture, our art, and no one had the right to tell us how to color.
“Coloring outside the lines” went from a kindergarten rebellion to vision statement about how we live. We refused to recognize any limits. We wouldn’t pay attention to any lines. We’d live as free and wild as we pleased.
Well, let’s just say that didn’t work out too well. Our world and most of the people in it are a wreck.
Here’s the hard truth: human beings have limits.
We can only run so fast, jump so high and know so much. To be human is to be limited. The wisest of us learn these limits aren’t necessarily punishments, but guides.
After all, it’s the tightening of light waves that gives us the power of the laser.
It’s the banks of the river that gives the river its energy. Without the banks, the river quickly becomes a pond.
When we learn to focus (limit) our lives, we are our most creative and productive selves.
No, we can’t do everything. We were never intended to do everything. We were created to focus. We were created to do what matters.
Yes, we have limits. And that’s good news.
We can’t do everything, but we can do what’s important.
Who would have ever thought that living within the lines brings us the greatest freedom of all?