Out Of The Box

The phrase “out of the box” is used to describe behavior that is not within the status quo.

When we think about something in a different way from what our normal thought processes would be, we call it “thinking out of the box”.

Our boxes define us and our behaviors.

When we ask someone we have just met what they do, we are in a sense asking them to tell us who they are by the type of job they report to Monday through Friday.

When we say that we belong to the First Presbyterian Church (or any other denominational or non-denominational church), we are saying that the box that we have chosen for our expression of Christianity looks this way.

When we did our coloring books as a kid, we stayed within the lines of the drawings on the pages because that is what we aspired to. That is what pleased our parents and so that is what we tried to do. It too is another box.

I guess you could go as far as to say that our very bodies are boxes that hold our organs together so that they can function correctly. When you are involved in an accident and break the “body box” all kinds of bad things can happen.

Now don’t get me wrong—boxes are not inherently bad—as if anything you put into a box is no longer ok just because it is in a box.

Our lives need structure just like a train needs tracks…to get from one place to another you have to follow a road or path of some sort.

I guess what I am really talking about is laziness.

What’s that got to do with anything, you ask.

I have just come to realize that I have allowed people during my brief stay on this earth to define for me what my walk or ride looks like. Especially the past couple of years.

By being in a certain box (lets just say for arguments sake a certain local church), my Christianity and it’s outward expression was being defined for me and I hardly realized it. Not that this is bad. We all need to agree on certain things like who created the heavens and the earth, the virgin birth, and Christ’s atoning death. Without agreement in this area, we could never move forward.

However…how we “do” church and what that looks like on a daily or Sunday basis is really up for grabs.

We are the “church”, the “eklesia”, “the called apart ones” not the buildings that we gather in.

We all want to fit in and be a part of something. A counselor friend of mine would say the greatest need we have is to be loved and accepted.

Where the laziness fits in, and for this reason I could give myself a good swift kick, is where we just settle for the staus quo and even though we have a “feeling” that something isn’t right, we choose to go along and not make waves.

Or when we made waves, we were made to feel bad (coloring outside the lines) and so made an uneasy peace with ourselves that we could live with the stuff that made us feel unfullfilled and frustrated.

Wanting to belong and thus live inside that kind of box is what has prompted me to write today’s journal.

I am tried of just getting by, getting along, and just making do.

I don’t want to have to get into your “box” just to be accepted by you. Nor do I want you to jump into mine for the same reason.

We need to love and repect one another enough to embrace the differences in the ways we were created and the jobs we are destined to do. In other more appropriate words, we need to “spur one another on to love and good works”. And not worry so much about where we go to church and what we do as an expression of that.

Life would be more interesting and our ride so much more enjoyable. It’s not an easy choice, but one that will bring lastng peace and happiness.

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