I've been thinking a lot about boundaries or borders... There is a lot of discussion about the country's borders, and the safety thereof, and whether a fence needs to be built, or whether increased security needs to be provided, or whether they should be open. It is for our "protection", for the "good" of the nation. In Europe pre-EU, there were border checks, passport reviews, visual inspections at each country crossing. It seemed very tedious and frivolous, but at least you "knew" when you crossed into a new country. When we crossed once from the communist Yugoslavia into Italy, or from Italy to Yugoslavia, it was a big deal... car searches, soldiers with machine guns, German Shepard dogs sniffing around, detailed passport scrutiny, questions of why we're in the country in the first place, etc. Recently crossing on the autostrada between France and Italy along the Riviera was like crossing from Utah into Idaho... you may note the small road sign or you may not and if you missed it, you may not even know what side of the line you're on.
My mind has thought a lot about other kinds of borders in my life. We recently constructed a fence around our property to keep our dog "in" and other dogs "out". We put our rabbits in cages to "keep them safe" from the raccoons.
My wife and I put "limits" on our teenage children... when they can drive the car, who they are dating, when to date or just "hang out", curfew times, etc.
Covenants and commandment-keeping are a form of borders or boundaries. In the temple, we learn to keep things "within the boundaries the Lord has set". The garment and the proper wearing of the garment is established as a "shield and a protection".
And what I'm wrestling with currently are my personal, self-imposed boundaries - those things which I have chosen of my own free will to abide by, because I have determined if doing so, I will be better off. Sometimes, in certain situations, such as on a couch in the arms of a dear friend, kissing him, I become deaf to my self-imposed warning signs, and blind to the edge of my self-determined cliff, and everything is fuzzy and unclear...
What is the point of having such limits, or boundaries, government imposed, religion-imposed, parental-imposed, or personally imposed? "Total freedom! No borders!" some say. And yet, is there safety, security, well-being, even "freedom" with such imposed borders on our life activities? Should we place limits on ourselves?
Ironically, I taught a SS lesson last week on being a "covenant-keeping people". I smirk at myself in seeing the discrepancy between what I taught verses my personal actions recently. I was encouraging less-active, and newly baptized members to learn the basic principle of the Gospel that being obedient to our covenants brings us the most happiness and freedom we can imagine. But then, a few hours later, in the arms of someone I "truly love" and have attached this "romantic aura" to our relationship (because I so desperately want it to be so in that moment), I forget all about my personally self-imposed limits, my God-given and received covenants of baptism, endowment and celestial marriage, and am willing to be caught up in just stealing that one brief moment of passion with another man... At that moment I was...
These hormones are gloriously amazing things! And being a virgin gay-adolescent complicates it even more! MOHO Hawaii was right when he said that guys like me are truly "adolescent" in the spectrum of our gay attractions...
A kind and very wise friend emailed me the following wake-up advice about my current "situation":
Two things to think about--First, if you allow yourself to let your friendship to become sexual, given the age difference and your knowledge about your friend's personal/spiritual life, you are probably abusing his trust. He isn't far from your eldest daughter's age. Consider your feelings if another person, your age, female or male, whom she deeply loved and trusted, allowed or even encouraged a physical relationship with her. Then use that perspective in your interactions with your friend. He loves you. He trusts you. Betraying that trust, even if it seems implied that he wishes it, shows that you're not worthy of such love and trust. If you wish to pursue that relationship, you should consider being released from the covenants and promises you've made to another person who loves and trusts you which brings me to the second thing--you've made covenants--and so has he. You both renew them each Sabbath. If you follow your current desires and line of thinking, you will be a party to his breaking of those covenants, knowingly so, and he will be a party to the breaking of your covenants. That's an awful responsibility, and at some point, knowing that you have done that will come between you as a trust issue. If you cannot be trusted to keep the sacred covenants that you've made to God, how can you be trusted to be faithful in a human-made relationship? The bottom line--you can't.
It's all about trust and love in the end. Yours for your wife, for your friend, for God, and for yourself. Interesting how the Lord allows us to encounter circumstances where we must find out if we can be trusted in any situation, and how, regardless of the outcome, he loves us still. Always.
There are good reasons for fences and boundaries, God-imposed, self-imposed or otherwise... If I can just keep that in mind when I see "him" and get all wiggly inside... I know his and my relationship will be better!
I'm such a gay-adolescent fool! But I'm trying to learn! As the saying goes: "Better late than never," right?