Thursday, March 7, 2013

Have You Ever Lived in a Box?

I woke up one morning during college, slipped on flip-flops, and walked through the freezing cold to the dining hall.  Outside on the steps was a large cardboard box, like those you'd ship a refrigerator in.  Inside was an almost equally large bearded man, a student that I knew by face but not name.  He was imitating a homeless man to bring awareness to their plight. 

Have you ever lived in a box?

Sure you have.  It just wasn't made by cardboard.  It was made from the expectations of others, or those of yourself.  It was made out of the limitations of your worldview, or maybe from a physical disability.  Maybe the box was your theology.  Maybe it was depression.  These boxes stop us from our potential.  They keep us artificially contained. 

Today I'm in a box.  It's constrictive, immobilizing.  It has stopped all forward progress.  With me in this box are all my failures and unachieved goals.  Undone tasks and bitter regrets.  Its walls are clear, and outside it's a sunny day.  My healthy children are running around playing.  My best friend is with me, and she is beautiful as always. 

And my God is there, ever present both outside and in.  I say this not as a cliche, but honestly from a man who is the spiritual twin of Doubting Thomas.  With a certainty born of years of searching, He is here.

But so is my box, and thus far God hasn't shattered it. 

Sometimes we do indeed live in a box, and try as we might we cannot remove it.  Here lately those boxes come less often it seems, and when they are gone I drink in my world, my family, my God.  But still they come.

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