Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Building Fences

My family lives on a farm. On the farm where we live there are cows, horses, ponies, goats, dogs, and a donkey. This means that there is fencing everywhere to keep the barnyard buddies safe.

A few weeks back, we got a little ice on the roads and I witnessed a truck skid from one side of the road to the next, down the embankment, and right through the front fence. (The driver was okay, just a little shaken) After everything got settled I remember thinking to myself "good thing he went through that side of the fence". What I meant by that was the fact that there were no animals currently in that pasture.

People usually build fences for two main reasons. One is to keep things out and the other to keep things in.

I hadn't spoken to my father for twelve years. Prior to that, and even during, there were many situations that I had felt wronged in some way or another by my father, so I thought. I started separating myself from him, building my fence one board, or wronging, at a time. As I got older and I was able to reason a little bit, I got better at building my fence. Pretty soon I was throwing up boards to separate me from him or him from me as fast as I could. One day I remember tearing down that fence that I had spent years working only to start replacing it with a wall. One big section of block at a time. Block after block after block. Pretty soon I had a rock solid barrier between me and my father. That was the beginning of the twelve years.

I had a nice wall. I maintained it well. Back when it was just a fence is when I started weed whacking around it. Anything that tried to deteriorate my wall was quickly cut down and disposed of. I liked my wall, it was serving it's purpose well. It was keeping me in, and my father out. That was it's job.

One day, as I was maintaining my wall, blaming something on my father that he didn't have anything to do with, I noticed something. I took out my ladder and climbed to the top of the wall and looked over the other side to see what my father was doing. He was going about life as normal. This made me very angry. "How can he not see my great wall?" Then it hit me.

It was MY wall. I built it. I maintained it. I trimmed around it. It was MY wall, not his. He had no idea that I was even constructing a fence. I had done such a great job of separating myself...I never let him know even about that first board. This is when I made my final decision concerning my wall. It had to come down.

What I find most interesting about God is that he doesn't mess with our ability to choose. We even have a choice when it concerns him. With my father, I made a lot of choices. My choices all were geared to separate me from him. Then one day I chose not to do that anymore. I CHOSE. Simple as that. I used my father and my wall as an excuse for every bad thing that happened to me. He was my scapegoat. This was unfair to him. I also chose not to let him know how I felt. Thus, securing the footing of my wall.
But once again, it was MY choice.

Are there any fences in your life that you have built?

Do you have a pretty good Maintenance Program?

Do you tend to your fence on a regular basis?

My fence cost me twelve years without my father. I built that fence, I maintained that fence, and now I realize that I didn't have to. No fence is that important. There is a peace in letting things go.

I hope this may be able to help someone. There are a lot of broken relationships in the world and the more people I talk to, the surprising reality is that only one side has built a fence. Yes, you may have had a giant disagreement about something, but remember this, it's YOUR choice.

As I dig up that last block in the destruction of my fence, I have one last thing to do...


I am sorry for building my fence...please forgive me.


Your Son



  1. Love it! Thinking of you.

  2. Wonderful...I tore down my wall with my Dad too and there is a peace and release of just letting go. Dad now lives 4 miles from I do however keep a small picket fence up though..for boundaries :P Love you cuz!

  3. Very Good! Fences can be heavy burdens. I hope all sons will be able to destroy their fences and release that unneccesary burden.
    Love you always and forever - your mom