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The Unrestricted Road

November 23, 2010
Sign No. 282 – end of all speed and passing limits

Image via Wikipedia

Are you a rule-follower or breaker?  Today’s Our Daily Bread (November 23, 2010) entitled Unlimited Access inspired me to ask this question. I can’t imagine doing what the couple in this story did. Go uninvited to a state dinner at the White House ? What?! How many rules did that act break?

What am I? A rule follower. Truly. Surprised? 😉 I am comfortable with rules; I like to know what is expected of me. Is it a fear of failure in disguise? Maybe. I find the predictability of rules comforting though. Some people might find rules stifling and restricting, a challenge or an affront to an adventurous spirit. Not me. I like rules. (New TSA “enhanced pat-down” rules aside.) I do not like change. Nor adventure. (What’s the deal with my life then? This topsy-turvy, military-moving, all-over-the-world adventurous existence of mine? Is this my walk of faith? Is it God’s giant air-force-shaped shoehorn for my what would-have-otherwise been? But I digress-I guess this is a topic for another post!)

Germans like rules too. They have all kinds of rules of the road. The “zipper when merging rule” and “must have orange triangle and vest for breakdowns rule” and “no cell phones while driving rule” and “must be 18 to drive rule” and “headlights on in any slightly inclement weather rule” are all strictly observed. Well mostly. Germany really is a cool place to drive though. There are great roads and the country is beautiful; I miss driving there. At first however, driving on the German Autobahn was intimidating. I like rules, but not change and not new rules and loads of them simultaneously.  There were so many new rules, new signs and so many confident (aggressive?) drivers driving incredibly fast that I thought that I might die on the Autobahn. But as my eyes and mind adjusted, driving at 130-145 kph (80-90 mph) became normal. Seemed predictable? Was fun?!

If you had told me 15 years ago that I would be driving in a foreign country, a non-english speaking country at that, with four children and at speeds far exceeding 65 mph on a regular basis I would have thought, “You don’t know me at all, do you?” And if you had told me, “You won’t even think about it, you won’t be sweating a bit.” You would have confirmed my belief that you were oblivious, totally and utterly out of touch with who I was.  That description of “what you’re going to be doing” is a recipe for unpredictability and change – both of which I loathe. I like restrictions, rules, and routine, not adventure, upheaval and autobahns! Or so I thought.

I discovered something about myself or who God has changed me into. Notice the traffic sign in this post. It means, “end of all speed and passing limits” or “end of all restrictions.”  To my astonishment this is my favorite traffic sign in Germany. I like the rule that said there are “no rules.” One of these signs is posted on a portion of road that leads from Landstuhl to our former village of Hoheinod.  I looked forward to driving on this bit of  road with relish. Do you remember the show “Dukes of Hazard?” Remember how they would jump their car, The General Lee, into the air and yell, “YEEEEEEE-HAWWWWWW!” I so looked forward to that place where there were no restrictions. I’d reach that sign, floor the gas pedal of my Honda Odyssey mini-van and yell, “YEEEEEE-HAWWWWWW!” Literally. Surprised? My kids were. The first time I did it the kids thought that I was CRAZY! Predictable Mumma? Boring Mumma? Safe, unadventurous Mumma? Of course, I had to explain to them about the t.v. show. Then I showed them “Bo and Luke” in the General Lee on YouTube so they could understand my attempt at coolness.  I’m not sure if they caught the irony – Modified Dodge Charger vs. Mummafied Honda Odyssey. I was entertained though. 🙂 (Reminds me of the time I showed them Micheal Jackson dancing after I tried to demonstrate the moonwalk! “Oh!” they said. “That’s what you were trying to do! That’s cool. HE does that really well!”) Anyway! 😉

Chris too was surprised by me and my love of the “end of all restrictions” sign. (He understood the irony of the General Lee vs. the Odyssey.) Last Christmas he got me a tiny “end of all restrictions” sign as a stocking stuffer and I put it on my fridge. It makes me smile to think about it. The sign and also a place with No Restrictions! Can you imagine? I can begin to. Imagine, a place where nothing bad ever happens, no matter what you do. Heaven is the only place that I can think of like this. Really? Yes!

You might ask, “Don’t you think that there are rules in Heaven – like Keep Out, and Don’t Touch, Beware, Umleitung and Verboten?!” No. No restrictions.  Jesus did away with all the restrictions that were placed on life on the cross. He fulfilled the law.  He paid the wages for me. I don’t have to account for my sin. He has defeated sin and death. This can be true for all those who bow their knee and take the outstretched hand of the Righteous Redeemer. In Heaven there are no limits on joy, on health, on happiness, on time or on life. I guess there are some restrictions in Heaven – tears, sin and death will be no more.  All sadness, sickness and death HAVE been restricted there. Darkness is not only forbidden, it is cast out. There is no night there. Why? Because Jesus in His perfection SHINES like the noonday sun. His holiness fills Heaven. His love casts out darkness and death. Nothing but perfection can stand in His presence. How can that be? Perfection? Can I be perfect be being a “rule follower?” No. I must be a “True Follower.” Jesus says that HE is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. He is the ONLY “road” to the Father. He is the end of all restrictions. Not the beginning like some people may think. In Him is life, life abundant and life everlasting. He is the end of the restrictions of anxiety, sickness, pain, tears and death. Love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness are unrestricted by Him. I look forward to walking into that place of perfect unrestrictedness. I think, after falling on my knees before Jesus, I may sneak a peek at the back side of those Pearly Gates. I wonder if it’ll be there? A humongous  “END OF ALL RESTRICTIONS!” sign?!


2 Comments leave one →
  1. ksb08 permalink
    November 24, 2010 3:15 am

    I was thinking about how knowing the author of this blog made it even more special….and that is how it is with the WORD. Knowing the Author makes it more special to read too. Thanks so much for taking the time to write these very encouraging words.

  2. November 24, 2010 9:19 pm

    Thanks Kelly, I am so thankful that God gave you to me as a friend. I hope the Boyers have a Blessed Thanksgiving-we’ll miss you this year. I’m glad that we got to spend the last two with you! Take a photo of Kayla with the drumstick. 😉

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