chained but not locked

the southwest iowa farm boy in me recognizes these gates up in the north country. i remember many times as a kid, jumping out of dad’s chevy pickup and unwrapping the chain and swinging or dragging the gates open to let him through. and then closing them behind him to keep the cattle or hogs in while we did whatever it was we were going to do on the other side. it was a relatively simple task. important, but relatively simple. good memories of my dad and my younger years. of my walking years.

on my way home from work a couple of weeks ago, i was out snapping some photos and these gates caught my eye. for the reasons above. but the picture triggered something else for me as well. these gates are on a farm site where no one lives. there are cattle there part of the year, but none in sight right now. and there is no lock. just this chain that wraps around the pipes and secures them shut. and i suppose if someone wanted to be bold enough, they could just unwrap the chains and go in. there is no lock after all.

that detail stirred something in me. and went below the surface to this realization; there are some gates in my life right now that i have been treating like locked gates. but they’re really not. they’re simply chained as are these two. whatever is on the other side is accessible. available. waiting to be explored. experienced. and i’ve been staying on this side, acting like i can’t get through.

i was reading some of henry cloud’s thoughts about discouragement recently. he writes of the ability to utilize our strengths, our initiative, and our talents. and says that when we are unable to utilize those things [strengths, initiative, talents] discouragement can set in. at that point, the feelings of being overwhelmed can override our true abilities to go on in life. to grow. to prosper. to have something of value to offer to our world.

so as we look at the gates that may be in front of us,…as simple as this may seem, it is vital that we perceive the difference between locks and mere chains. both exist along the roads we travel. just don’t let the chains act as a lock to you. am deciding to do the same. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength…”


~ by fourfeetsixinches on February 26, 2012.

8 Responses to “chained but not locked”

  1. I run ino locked gates all the time in my life. My problem is that many times I fail to use the correct key. Searching for the correct key is frustrating and time consuming. I can’t God give me the proper key from the very beginning.

  2. once again…so good.
    love henry cloud’s writings also…

  3. Wow, well written! These kind of gates remind me that the chains are meant only to keep certain creatures/critters from going through while allowing others to go in and out at will. Jesus said, Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. It is the “fear not” part that inspires me the most about this little passage. I also sense that there is a growing “fear not” part in many of us that is yearning to reach out, open the gate and discover all that God has for us.

  4. Engaging blog post,one that takes awhile to warm up to,I guess when I see chained gates my initial response would be to walk on my own way, stay the safe path. But there may be something intriquing on the other side of those ,just wrapped with chains, gates .Reminds me of taking a dare,I think maybe Christ ‘s call to all disciples is somewhat like that.
    Love the pictures ,spring is coming!

  5. What a poignant reminder of a tragedy that envelops nearly all of us, though with differing frequencies. So often, God’s planned opportunities and His promises seem to blow right by, unseen, overlooked, or ignored. Your writing made me realize that I will have more regrets for things undone/untried that those I did try but failed.

  6. Ummm?”Like a rolling stone….Like a runaway train…
    No turning back,no more yesterdays…my heart is free…..
    No chains on me….
    With the cross before…”
    chris tomlin
    Making me sing!

  7. Hmmm…I wonder how many of my locked fences in life are really only chains…My eyes will be more open to see the difference. What words of wisdom! Thanks!

  8. fourfeetsixinches has the greatest pictures. I was just thinking about this picture. Gates are intriguing . Once you get past the rusty hinges and heavy chains, there must be, gotta believe there is, wild , beautiful, reckless, energizing, freedom

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