A line is a starting point. A line gives direction, defines an end point, is boundary and can be a tool of measurement. Life is full of lines.
In sport, lines give clear parameters of how the game will be played and enjoyed. The key for any sportsperson is to ‘know their line’.
The bowler who loses his or her awareness of the line at the crease is at risk of giving a free hit to the batsman and potentially the game to the opposition. An athlete starts at a line, runs within two lines, runs towards a line and finishes when they have crossed the line. A runner needs to know their lines!
God has designed our world to function within clearly defined lines. He drew the lines that separate the ocean from the sea:
‘[He drew the] boundary for the sea, so that the waters would not surpass His command’ – Proverbs 8:29 (BSB)
He drew the lines that have separated nations and empires throughout history:
‘From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands’ – Acts 17:26 (NIV)
God also draws lines around our lives. David sad that these lines actually provide the pathway for a ‘delightful inheritance’:
‘The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance’ – Psalm 16:6 (NIV)
There are some lines that are made to be broken, pushed through or crossed over. The lines that represent those areas we are too afraid to step into need to be smashed and rubbed out. The lines of religiosity that reduce our relationship with God down to mindless, clinical ceremony need to be obliterated.
But the God-given lines that bring us life and freedom need to be honoured and respected if we are to receive a ‘delightful inheritance’.
What are the ‘lines’ that God has drawn for you?
Maybe it’s a relationship God doesn’t want you to engage with. Maybe it’s a habit that is causing you harm. Maybe it’s a calling that God is championing you to engage with.
Regardless of what the line is, the key is to ‘know your line’ and do whatever it takes to stay within the field of play!