When I was a boy, my good friend invited me to go on vacation to Florida with him. His grandfather lived in Immokalee, Florida, down near the Everglades. Immokalee made rural Alabama look like a metropolis. A breeding ground for mosquitoes and home to alligators and snakes, it was a place like I couldn’t even imagine on my most creative days. My friend’s grandfather loved to hunt bright and early every morning – and he was famous for his fried alligator tail to say the least!

One morning he invited my friend and me to come along. After a breakfast of fresh fruit and eggs (which I later learned were snake eggs), we crawled in the front cab of his old pick-up. The torn leather seat and musky scent reminded me of my dad’s old truck back home.

We took off down a trail that seemed too narrow for us to fit; but somehow we did. After about driving twenty miles through the thick tropical forests, I noticed a bridge up ahead. The closer we got, the thicker my throat felt. The bridge was suspended over a drop off – and the bridge had no guard rails.

He was a rugged man, with rough, crackley skin, bronzed in color from over-exposure to the sun. “Grandpa Spivey?” I questioned, “There’s another way, right? We aren’t going over that bridge, right?”

The old guy chuckled and place a hand on my knee, being careful not to burn me with his cigarette. He shifted the truck into gear and pushed the gas pedal. Staying close to the center of the bridge, we easily crossed to the other side. He let out a hearty laugh and stopped just beyond the end of the bridge. “Young men,” he began, “this is why you need boundaries in your life. So that you never know what is like to tumble over. That bridge has kept me married for 53 years. Don’t you ever forget it!”

I never forgot the lesson he taught me that day. Whether he meant to do so or just thought of it at the moment really didn’t matter. Grandpa Spivey was showing us the importance of having hedges around us – discipline, structure, safety rails, accountability, rules, and guidelines.

Ask God today to help you set strict boundaries for your life. Seek His help through the Word and prayer so that you will remain where it is safe and secure.

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