Crossing the Line

   Simeon’s underground fence has technical difficulties. We noticed the other day when we discovered him next door playing with the neighbor dog. I changed the batteries in his collar, checked the barrier signal and thought we had it taken care of.
   But, when we let him out he wanders over to the boundary edge, slips through and visits the dog next door or wanders across the street to visit with the neighbor. Those are not in and of themselves a bad thing, he is a cordial and friendly dog satisfied to play with one of his own kind or a good scratch and a pet. However, he belongs in our yard not the neighbor’s and it is for his own good and safety.
   I purchased a new collar and discovered it is not the collar but rather the transmitting unit that is the culprit and we had to order a new one. Until it gets here Simeon cannot go outside unsupervised. When I go out with him he does not necessarily seem interested in crossing the boundary, and yet experience tells me if left unattended he will sooner or later wander across the line. One of us has to go out with him to keep him in check and within the boundaries of the yard.
   This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season in the church. Traditionally the forty days prior to Easter, not counting Sunday’s, set aside for self reflection and repentance. It is a time when we in the church reflect on our lives and faith in order to prepare for the coming celebration of Resurrection Sunday.
   Perhaps, in the context of Simeon’s current dilemma, Lent is a time for self reflection on where we might better stay within the boundaries of our life and faith. A time when we do a little self-supervision acknowledging when we have crossed the lines of justice, compassion, and faith and how we might, with God’s help, find ourselves back within and on the path of grace, mercy, kindness, and humility.
   I would invite you to join us, if you are able, this Wednesday at the Cimarron United Methodist Church for Ash Wednesday Service as we do a little self reflection and prayer to begin this forty day journey to Easter. In the mean time, I will continue to learn from Simeon as he tries to remember where the boundary is and as I continue to remember the grace that is given me along this journey of life and faith.

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