So, is it time to take down the invisible fence surrounding your life?  Millions of dollars are spent by pet owners each year installing invisible fences designed to contain their animals within the confines of their yards.  These animals, which are typically dogs, wear a shock-type collar that gives them a good zap if they attempt to encroach beyond the boundaries of the “invisible fence.”  Over time the dogs become conditioned to the reality that if they go too far outside of their “new normal” they will pay the price.  All of this has me thinking that this might be one of those times when the idiom, “gone to the dogs” might point us not to something characterized by a downward trend but rather, if we learn from the parallels, might just direct us to pursue the upside of what life could be.  Let’s take a few moments and consider some of the parallels here.

The driving force behind those millions of dollars being spent is one thing…containment. How is it with us?  Just consider, for instance, the millions of dollars that are expended each year to perpetuate the false fronts of our lives. This thought reminds me of a friend named Pat who says, “People spend money they don’t have to buy things they don’t need to impress people who don’t care.”  Wow, this statement certainly points to containment!  It surely doesn’t suggest freedom.  In the end aren’t false fronts really synonymous with invisible fences?  Now, let’s consider for a minute the way we are “conditioned” over time to not get too far outside our “boundaries of predictability.” After all, isn’t the purpose of the “zaps” of life to constrain us in such a way that even the sheer anticipation of going beyond our boundaries causes us to retreat? Well, perhaps this is a time when we should consider the implication of a role reversal; a time when man should become a dog’s best friend. 

What is the first thing we might do if we saw ourselves in this light?  Though some may argue that we would construct boundaries so as to contain ourselves so we wouldn’t get hurt don’t you think that our highest and best use would be to “unleash” others as well as ourselves?  Take a moment and just consider the unbridled excitement that a dog exhibits when their about to be unleashed?  That’s picture alone should point us to a new way of living.  How is it with you?  Have you fenced your life in by things that you can’t even see?  Would your friend’s say that you are helping unleash them beyond the boundaries they have imposed on themselves?  Perhaps a good contrast to consider is one of “attainment vs. containment.”  Maybe the first place to start is to make the “invisible visible” in the lives of others.  Come to think of it, isn’t it the first step to living like a captive who has been set free? Peace.