In a Box
In a Box
It’s five o’clock in the morning and I’ve hauled myself out of my warm, toasty, comfortable, bed, and the company of my wife Jackie to sit in front of this laptop and write this post for The Seed of Hope.
I’m a little aggravated because I’ve been trying to write this thing all week long and I’ve had neither the time nor the inspiration to do so. Oh, I’ve had the desire to write, because, as I’ve said before, I love sharing what God has done in my life. Be that as it may, until this point, it’s just not been there; nothing.
There is something that I want to tell you about, something that’s really good, but I feel as though I should “set the table” for it, and in order to do that I must first talk about something that’s a bit uncomfortable.
It’s what I often refer to as the “box of life”, and it contains many smaller boxes of various shapes and sizes. The thing about these boxes is that, much like life itself, they are a mixture of easy and difficult, bad and good, bitter and sweet.
There’s the box of “conventional thinking”, and it controls many of the decisions that we make in life. This box is usually representative of our parent’s ways of thinking, the values that they instilled in us as children, and a bit of our own personalities.
There’s the “family box”, which includes spouses, children, and parents. This box contains relationships built on and surrounded by love. It is because of that love that when problems arise (and they do), this box also holds the most amount of hurt.
There’s the “job box”, which includes the careers we’ve chosen, and all the responsibilities (and quite often headaches) that come with it.
The “box of limitations” is a good one. It’s the box we dwell in that tells us that we have limitations, that we’re not good enough, that we’re not capable of doing something, or not worthy of it. I spent years in this box.
Then there’s the “how did I get myself in this situation?” box. It contains things that we agreed to do for others, situations that we’ve put ourselves in, and responsibilities that we’ve agreed to take on. I find myself in this box quite frequently. As a matter of fact, as I was getting out of bed this morning to write this post I came to the realization that in making a promise to myself to write a post every Monday morning, I had unconsciously put myself in yet another box!
I’m sure that there are many more boxes that I’ve failed to mention. You can probably relate in some way to all of those that I’ve listed, and even add to that list. Like I mentioned earlier, what I was trying to do was set the table for the next box that I want to talk about, and it’s definitely my favorite. It is….
The God box.
I know, I know, that term sounds almost sacrilegious, doesn’t it? I could’ve called it “the religion box”, because it does contain religion, or what I consider my faith to be as it pertains to religion. But that’s the thing.
It’s not about religion at all. It’s about God. And yes, there is a difference between religion and God, just as there is a difference between religion and spirituality.
You see, I spent years in the God box. In this box with me was everything that I’d learned in twelve years of religion class, in a church that was steeped in tradition. I knew what I should do, and what I shouldn’t do, and when I should do it, and when I shouldn’t.
I didn’t know the Bible, but I knew what was in it. I knew about Adam and Eve, their fall from grace, and that Jesus came to restore that grace. I knew right from wrong. I knew the Ten Commandments. I could recite the Lord’s Prayer frontwards and backwards.
I knew what faith was because it was taught to me. Got a problem? Pray to God. Need something? Go see God. Want a miracle? Get on your knees. Want to go to heaven? Be a good boy.
Do you get what I’m saying here? I knew all the right stuff. And I knew most of the answers to most of the questions.
I want to ask you a few questions….
Do you believe that you can have a real relationship with a living God?
Do you believe that God is all-forgiving; that there is nothing that you can’t be forgiven for?
Do you believe that God will provide you with everything you need?
Do you feel the Joy of God’s presence in your life every day?
Do you look forward to going to church, or do you attend out of obligation or fear?
Do you believe that with God, all things are possible?
There’s so many more questions that I could pose to you right now. Here’s the thing: If you can’t truthfully answer yes to all of those questions, there’s something missing in your relationship with God. Believe me, I’ve been there, done that, and walked that walk for too many years.
Get out of the box!
Do whatever you have to do!
Work towards having a relationship with God. Go after Him every day! Invite Him into your life!
Talk to him, just as you would your father. Don’t be afraid to ask Him questions, or to share what’s on your heart with Him. Don’t you think that He already knows what’s on your mind?
Believe that He is a mighty God, and that He wants to do mighty things in your life.
You want to know all there is about God, and who He is, and His plan for us? Look in the Bible. Everything else, and I mean everything else, that you’ve been taught about God or religion, or what you should or shouldn’t do, are things written by men for men.
Try a different church. It’ll be scary, but you’ll get over it. You never know what you may find.
Get out of your religion box. It won’t be easy. It’s hard to set aside certain things that have been ingrained in our minds since we were children. Ask God for his help in allowing you to see, think, and feel what’s most important to Him, and what will become most important to you.
When you do get out of that box, and it’s both my prayer and belief that you will, you’re gonna realize something that has eluded you for years: God will be there with you in all those other boxes, helping you in all of them.
Oh, and there’s one more thing that you’ll discover, and it’s the best one of all…
God is not in that box at all. He’s in your heart.
See you next week.