Face it, our floors here in the Midwest get freezing cold in the wintertime. So cold that you really can’t just ignore them. “I’ll just mosey into the kitchen in my bare feet and get me a cup of coffee and make myself a sandwich. It’s only minus 15 degrees on my tile floor.” Nope, there is something about bare feet suddenly hitting a biting-cold surface. You get a lightning strike to your senses, the old preservation instinct kicks in, and most of us beat feet to safer climates for our toes.

All of us have ways of dealing with our cold surfaces. We may carpet it or heat it, or wear shoes 24/7. But then, there are times we decide to act like an idiot and streak around au naturel on tiptoe, shrieking our pain at the top of our voice. But mostly, we stick to our tried-and-true methods that guarantee the warmest and safest way to go. But sometimes stupid does just kick in….

Reminds a person of living. Sometimes your life just flows along easily, and you walk along enjoying warmth and a certain amount of comfortability. Then you suddenly find yourself walking a subzero portion of life. And hopefully scramble to find a way back to what has been working better for you.

It is called recognizing boundaries. We find them in our floors and in life. And when we cross those barriers, we know it soon enough. Brutal cold wakes you up like nothing else.

Folks, when it pertains to the physical, we basically are in charge. We determine whether we protect our toes, or push those boundaries and tiptoe on freezing bare feet. But our spiritual life? A whole different Being is in charge. He also chooses to put in boundaries. Painful barriers to alert us that we are straying from the warm protected path the Creator chose for our life.

But there is also another function of those unexpectedly painful encounters He allows in life every once in a while. They teach and train us. Primarily, we learn that we won’t die from pain, even though it feels that way. Secondly, we learn to endure hard times and we actually begin to mature.

Example; Place a person barefoot on a painfully cold surface for the very first time and you will probably hear gasping and loud complaining. That person will make a quick retreat their only priority. But someone who has been there many times before? That person will eventually begin to think along the lines of, “Why do I keep doing this? This is stupid! Somethin’s gotta change, ‘cause I hate this!”

Same thing happens in life. And that is when change for the better happens. Called M-a-t-u-r-in-g.

Nobody we know likes walking barefoot on freezing floors in the wintertime. And most of the time we will finally do something about it. So, a painful boundary does bring about change… eventually.

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