The problem with drawing a line in the sand

How can you really draw a hard line in the sand?

Sunday afternoon My Sweet and I went for a drive, not for any reason except to get out of the house. We made to-go cups of tea, got in the truck and took a left turn at the end of our driveway. Left takes us toward the east, away from the busy highway.

We drove the backroads, watching the deer grazing in snowy fields and talking about how the landscape has changed with the increase in oilfield activity.

Mostly, it was a familiar drive until we turned west again, crossed the highway and headed down a road I couldn’t remember ever having traveled. There wasn’t anything remarkable about it except there were some steeper hills than I expected, especially when it began to run closer to the river valley. Suddenly we were at a No Trespassing sign and a cattle guard across the road.

Turning around

It was getting late enough to notice the sky was beginning to change colour with the first flush of sunset. We turned around and took the same route home to avoid the busy highway.

Because we were driving the opposite direction, I was looking to the west and I saw a sign bolted to a post I had missed the first time past. It read, “CAUTION! Open Mining Area – Unauthorized Entry Prohibited”

Say what?! What mine? My Sweet said it was probably just a gravel pit and that anytime you make a hole in the ground to remove something it falls into the category of a mine.

Have you ever noticed that when you come at something from a different direction you sometimes see things you didn’t or couldn’t the first time?

Perspective is everything

Not long ago, I was on Facebook. Ok, let’s be honest, I was creeping someone on Facebook, but that’s not important. What’s important is not the ‘who’ I was creeping but rather the ‘what’ that I was reading. The ‘what’ was a conversation I stumbled upon about the support of gay marriage.

It was actually kind of fascinating to follow the comments back and forth. I followed one particular set of comments with interest, mostly because I was thinking (not happily) how much those comments sounded like my own ten-ish years ago and I also kept thinking ‘man that is a hard line in the sand’.

Really? A hard line?

The proverbial line in the sand, the supposed line of no return.

There’s a problem with drawing a line in the sand. You know what happens? The inevitable. The water washes up and pulls at the edges of your line. It sweeps away little bits of it and then the next wave comes in and pushes new sand into the hollows. Slowly, but surely, that line is wiped away and eventually no trace of it is left.

Lines divide. They create boundaries, invisible walls, barriers to understanding and unless someone is willing to put their judgements to the side and listen, the line remains. And so does the lack of understanding. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take a firm stand on some things. Sometimes it’s necessary, but probably not as often as we think.

I’m also not saying you have to give up what you believe just because someone else believes something different. I’m just saying try looking at things from another point of view. If nothing else, you’ll gain a better understanding and maybe break down a few barriers.

Food for thought…

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