“Your boundary shall turn south of the ascent of Akrabbim, and cross to Zin, and its OUTER LIMIT shall be south of Kadesh-barnea; then it shall go on to Hazar-addar, and cross to Azmon;” –Numbers 34:4
How many times did you have to adjust today?
Adjust your schedule. Adjust your expectations. Adjust the seat in your car.
It seems like the world demands my constant adjusting. Some days I get sick of it.
From 1963-1965 (and then for many years in reruns) there was a TV show called “The Outer Limits”. It was kind of a take-off on the Twilight Zone…sci-fi based morality tales with a twist ending. The memorable opening to the show showed an oscilloscope changing in size and pattern, as an ominous voice said the following:
There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to… The Outer Limits. (Wikipedia.com)
I get a kick out of stuff like that, but today I’m especially intrigued by that second sentence. “Do not attempt to adjust…”.
Ok, I won’t! I won’t adjust my schedule anymore. If someone’s running late, that’s their fault. I won’t adjust my expectations. If the movie I wanted to see got lousy reviews, I’m not going to let that dampen my excitement. And the seat in my car? Maybe I won’t let anybody else drive it so I won’t HAVE to adjust it.
Ahhh. Feels good, not adjusting. Letting the world conform to me for a while. I am a rock! I shall not be moved!
But then, there’s my TV. I mean, I enjoyed the hour of the Outer Limits, but I don’t want to watch this infomercial that’s on afterwards. Maybe I can just use my remote? Just a little adjustment?
In the book of Numbers, God tells Moses all the dimensions of this Promised Land they’re headed to. God even uses the phrase “outer limits” a couple times. I think the idea was that this would be the land they’d been journeying toward, and no need to make further adjustments.
And that worked well, for a while. But think about this—if the Israelites hadn’t adjusted to political events, and eventually, to Christ’s call to “Make Disciples Of All Nations”, God’s people would all be living in a relatively small patch of desert there in the middle east.
Sometimes I get sick of constantly making adjustments. The idea of God (or some ominous voice from the TV) telling me to NOT adjust the boundaries of my life sounds comforting. But life on this planet is ever-changing. You and I are ever-changing.
We’re destined to seek out and explore the Outer Limits, to push the boundaries, to grow.
If you’ve been feeling a little too flexible lately, perhaps it’s alright to take an hour or so where you choose to not adjust, but after that? It’s time to change.
Hopefully more than the channel.
Have a Great Week,