I did nursery for the Graduation Preaching Conference at Heartland Baptist Bible College and got to see some cute kids!! One of them, who we'll call Mark, found great pleasure in constantly trying to escape the "Walkers' Room" and explore bigger and better places. We couldn't turn our backs for more than five seconds, or he would be gone! I started thinking about how adults are the same way, but on a much larger scale.
Mark thought his greatest sense of fulfillment could be found "out there." He disregarded the many toys and friends within the walls and focused all of his time and energy on somehow getting "out there." He wanted to be free. There was so much to see and do if he could only escape. What he didn't know about the great beyond, however, was that there was uncovered outlets, hard floors, and dangerous objects laying around that could harm him if swallowed.
Does this sound familiar? So many young people are obsessed with pushing the limits, climbing the fence, and living on the edge, but don't realize that what lies beyond will hurt them. Looking outside his small room, Mark saw a huge playroom with lots of space to roll around. Being a nursery worker, I saw more than that -- I looked past the fun and saw a floor he could easily trip and break a tooth on and a nail that Maintenance had accidentally dropped on the floor, which any two year old would swallow without giving it a second thought. As an adult, I saw many dangers Mark didn't... but he didn't seem to appreciate my forethought and wisdom.
As a young person, you will discover boundaries set around you that you might not completely understand. You might wonder why your youth pastor advises against dating in high school or why your mom won't let you drive around with friends past midnight. Like Mark, you might be peeking through the door thinking, "But it looks like so much fun!" and fighting to be free. You might grow aggravated when your authorities keep pulling you back into your "cage" and not telling you why you can't go out there. You become convinced that your greatest sense of fulfillment is outside of these boundaries.
Just a word of advice: don't go out there. There are things in the typical young person's world that your parents, pastor and youth pastor don't want you to have to experience in order to know about. To let Mark eat a nail to teach him how much pain it would inflict upon him would have been ludicrous; instead I kept him as far away from it as possible. That is exactly what your authorities are doing for you by putting up boundaries. Like Mark, you might not understand why you're not allowed to do certain things, but someday you will, and you will be grateful for authorities who protected you from being hurt.
Your greatest sense of fulfillment is not found in sneaking out late at night to go to a party, stealing the keys to the car to visit a "friend," or putting junk music on a CD and labeling it "Bro. Jones' Preaching." It looks like so much fun... until your friends pressure you into doing something dumb, your "friend" turns out to be a jerk, and you accidentally leave your CD in the player the day mom uses the car. These are uncovered outlets and sharp objects that older folks know about through experience, and would do anything to spare you this kind of pain and regret.
Next time you venture to ask your parent another "border line" question and once again you run into a wall, pause before you show any sign of disappointment. Think, "Enough of me assuming they're just trying to make my life miserable... What could be the REAL reason they're saying no?" It just might be to protect you, and for that you could at least smile and say, "OK." Your greatest sense of fulfillment is found smack dab in the middle of God's will, deep within all the boundaries that have already been set up for you. If you accept these rules with a cheerful heart, you will be the happiest you've ever been in your whole life.