Though we are now a few weeks beyond that date in which we arrived so enthusiastically in Fargo, North Dakota, we still have a plethora of boxes filling our garage like one of those obscure government warehouses in the Indiana Jones movies. Floor to ceiling, front to back . . . boxes are everywhere. What we need to do is have a ginormous garage sale.
Rummaging through the boxes has brought to my mind a somewhat startling realization. Something very precious to us (at least it is suppose to be precious to me, perhaps for nostalgic reasons alone) has been placed in a box. Said box has been closed up with ducktape and smartly identified with a permenant marker. On occasion Christa will ask me to go and rummage through our collection of boxes to find just the right one in which is the precious item that is suddenly needed for reasons that only girls (mommies and daughters) could truly grasp. I go and fulfill this request (command?) and after awhile find the right box, open it deftly, remove the requested item, and then close the box, returning it to the confines of the yawning garage.
The realization? I treat God like some conveniently precious item that is otherwise contained within a neatly closed box, to be removed only when necessary. And this realization is really bothering me.
Perhaps you don’t do this. I trust that could be true. For me, however, too often God is that item I have sought to comfortably confine into a box of my choosing, to be withdrawn when required or, at least, convenient. He is to be properly employed, like some seasonal showpiece, or worn as a garment when cold, and then when the season concludes and the weather changes He is returned to the cardboard cube on which the dust settles until the request again comes to fetch Him. If this is your experience then I’d like to know. Thoughtful remedies to this dynamic would be welcome, for somehow deep down I can’t help but think there is for all of us a better approach to God than simply rummaging through a box with His name on it.