What do an 1880’s cowboy; 1980’s subdivision neighbors; and ancient Israelite’s, after destroying Jericho and Ai,… all have in common?
After 1874 barbed wire was being widely used in cattle country, and it gave rise to the job description of “riding fence.” Mending being the main job task.
In the 1980’s sub-divisions were popping up like mushrooms, with some neighbors too close for comfort, and the cedar panel fence brought to life the phrase “good fences make good neighbors,” as put forth by Robert Frost.
And… after destroying everything completely, as God had ordered, after crossing over the Jordan… the Israelite’s would have to mend some loose stone fences around the preexisting sheep folds… in order to accommodate their own sheep and goats.
As for me, the Lord had me in a 12 step program… I just didn’t know it.
Guess what you learn how to do in a 12 step program?
Yep. Mend some fences.
Step 8. “Willing to make amends…”
As I look out across this abundant promised land God has brought me into… the Holy Spirit has placed on my heart to take care of a couple of loose rocks… situated in my own character wall… 3 to be exact.
Duty, Discipline, and Honor.
I set those three rocks long ago. When I was a kid watching Lone Ranger re-runs.
They were brought to the fore when I embarked on my writing journey looking for my manliness.
Funny thing is… another set of reruns helped me to re-identify with those 3 granite boulders, another western, “Have Gun, Will Travel.”
The title character “Paladin,” and his calling card, having only the “knight” piece from a chess set on it, brought back the urging to live by those three rocks, and to develop my new manliness along those granite lines.
But even granite courses can have fault lines.
And He… has shown me where the fault lies.
Now the ball is in my court… I’ll be reaching out to those I offended… as the Steps indicate… “to see if the other party is OPEN to being contacted.”
This is in accord with the other half of the step… “cause no [new] harm or pain,” in trying to make amends.
The more I work on being “successful” as an author; the more I study how to be a good leader, and better follower; the more I try to act like a man; the deeper I get in my relationship with Jesus Christ.
And when He asks, “Hey! You got that old range fencing buttoned up?”
I know, He knows… I do not.
Funny thing is… the three granite foundation stones that are loose… are the exact three stones I need… in order to be able to steady that course.
And as He is THEE cornerstone… He knows a little something about stones; sheep folds; and a certain mans character that needs some fixin’.