Free at last!

“I have jumped the track and I am free at last” (Thomas the Train).

The Delta variant of COVID has interrupted us shortly after we began to develop some hope and optimism. It has necessitated a return to some safety precautions. Irritating, depressing, anxiety producing. Perhaps you had begun to feel optimism. You were picking up speed and steaming along. Then, it is as though your train has jumped the track.

Oh, the importance of the track. One analogy is provided by Rick Warren. Life is like a railroad track. It has two rails. One is what is good about life. The other is what is bad about life. We cannot get anywhere without both rails.

I was recently reminded of an old Thomas the Train cartoon. He stated, as he lay beside the tracks: “Free at last!” But, we are not free without rails, rules, and limits. There is no freedom without limits. It is true for anything we consider important in our lives. The work we do, the games we enjoy, the activities in which we engage. All require limits. Limits provide freedom and safety. How free is a fish in a fishbowl? We tend to prefer large fish bowls. But, regardless the size, we cannot survive without one. Stressful. Trying. Anger provoking. Anxiety arousing. Depression inviting. Though limits and rules may seem disruptive and irritating, we cannot live without them. As I drove to work yesterday morning I stayed in the right lane. Fortunately, those traveling in the opposite direction stayed in their right lane; my left lane. All went well even though a farm vehicle slowed me down until I could see a clear path to pass. I am glad I knew the rules and the potential consequences of ignoring them.

Freedom? Not without rails, rules, limits, and/or boundaries. Imagine your favorite sport without limits. Chaos. Utter chaos.