August 20 – Blessed Boundaries

For length of days and years of a life [worth living] and tranquility [inward and outward and continuing through old age till death], these shall they add to you. Proverbs 3:2

Young James Byron died way too soon. In his short 24 years of life, he managed to make an indelible mark on a nation.

Known to the world over as James Dean, this young man starred in only three major films between the years 1955-56 and was the first actor to ever receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor and still remains the only actor to have had two posthumous acting nominations.

Fascinating and sad, James’ story unfortunately presents a very common epidemic in our midst. Through no fault of his own, little Jimmy was horribly wounded at a young age by the death of his mother, whom he was very close to. Because his father couldn’t manage to care for him without the help of his wife, James was sent away.

As I look over the history of this now iconic soul, I find three keepsakes that bear tremendous insight.

One, family plays a major role in guiding, directing, and protecting us (especially in the formative years) from destructive elements in life.

Two, each of us come into this world with a gift-set uniquely ours. And boundaries, or the lack thereof, constitute the degree to which those gifts will be realized.

And three, there is never a shortage of misguided fellows who will be willing to take advantage of one’s disadvantages. Misery is a vampire that thrives on the innocent ignorance of the misguided soul.

Today’s Proverb reminds and refreshes me, because it reiterates once again the role of the guard rails and fences along my path. They are not there to keep me pinned in, but arranged in such a way as to keep devastation out. My moments here on planet earth are few and somewhat fleeting. Therefore, I cannot afford to be labeled another legendary “gone too soon.”

And neither can you!