My uncle and grandfather raised a large herd of cows on a farm a few miles outside of Montgomery. Because of the amount of land they had and the size of the herd of cows, they had an incredible number of fences that separated one pasture from another. It seemed that every hundred yards or so you had to go through a gate. My memory of that farm growing up is that whenever I went there with my grandfather or my uncle, it always seemed to be my job to get out of the truck and open the gate, wait for the truck to get through, and close the gate back. My memory is that I spent most of my visits there opening and closing gates. I just couldn’t understand why we couldn’t leave some of them open and then come back through them. You know, that is kind of what life is like. Through the years, you and I open and walk through many, many gates. The Gospels’ suggestion is that we make sure to close some of those gates behind us and keep them closed. We can spend a lifetime nursing our hurts. We can spend a lifetime rehearsing our pains to anyone who will listen. We can spend a lifetime letting the scars, betrayals, anger, and meanness keep us from living abundantly, or we can, by the grace of God, close the gate and move on. It’s called forgiveness.
– Dr. Tim Thompson