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I’m Doug Apple…and my heart is on fire!  (Luke 24:32)

Start with the box.

That’s what I heard a famous composer say.

He was writing music for a new movie, and he said you start with the box.

You have to set up a framework, the boundaries you are going to work within in the creative process.  Otherwise you get sloppy, there is no consistency, and you end up with a mess.

So start with the box, then unleash your creativity within the box.

Believe it or not, creativity actually thrives within the boundaries of a box.

Yes, some people say, “I want to be free!  I want to do whatever I want, whenever I want, however I want.  I want to be completely free to follow whatever whim hits me with no limits.”

Yes, and that’s a good formula for ending up with a sloppy mess.

Studies show that kids thrive in a home with appropriate boundaries.  Children who are left to themselves, free to do whatever they please, end up in a sloppy mess.

Marriages with appropriate boundaries thrive.  Marriages without boundaries end up in a sloppy mess.

In a way, God gave us a box to live in, and we are free to wildly express our creativity within the box.  Our lives will thrive when they are lived within God’s boundaries, His rules, His statues and precepts, His righteousness.

But something within us rejects the idea of living within a box, of living within boundaries.  Something tells us that it’s awful, it is terrible, it is restricting.  We can almost feel the noose.  We want no boundaries!

The problem is, if we don’t live within God’s boundaries, we end up with a sloppy mess.

When we don’t limit our physical intimacy to the boundaries of God’s marriage covenant, we end up with a sloppy mess.

When we don’t limit our speech to God’s boundaries of truth and love and grace, we end up with a sloppy mess.

When we don’t limit what we put into our mouths, WE end up a sloppy mess!

I remember playing a type of basketball game on the playground where there was no out-of-bounds.  I don’t know what kid made that up, but with no out-of-bounds you could run behind the goal or out onto the grass or behind the whole school.  It was dumb, and yet some kid thought it was a good idea.

Our world is full of dumb things, and yet someone thinks they are a good idea.  The problem is, if it is outside God’s boundaries, it will leave you in a sloppy mess.

That’s how people end up on these reality TV shows, arguing and bickering and even fist fighting, right there on the set.  It always comes down to someone who is trying to live outside of God’s boundaries and thinks it’s okay.

It’s not okay.  That’s how your life turns into a big dumpster fire.

So whatever feeling it is that makes you think God’s boundaries are stifling, that feeling is a deception.

Start with the box.  Live within God’s box, His boundaries of good and righteous and holy, for it’s within that box where we are truly free to live our life to it’s very highest and most exciting potential.

May God bless you today!

I’m Doug Apple.