I had the honor of attending the baby shower for one of my bestie’s up-and-coming first grandchild! This was just wonderful, considering Bob and I were dinner guests at her house the night she went into labor with her soon-to-be-a-sleepless-father youngest son.
As all the gifts were being opened, once again the topic came up among the wizened elders of how the little ones often prefer to play with the boxes rather than the expensive gifts inside.
Ain’t it the truth? Now, you can go drop some serious coin for a colorful BPH-free cartoon-branded hard plastic play house, or….if your husband is a poor grad student with three small children living in married student housing, you can go to the nearest appliance store and get a refrigerator box (or two) for free, some crayons, have a blast, and still afford groceries. (Ask me how I know this.) But I’m a bit off topic here.
Boxes are fun. But truth, they don’t last, for a reason—they’re really not supposed to. Actually, when it comes to things like Christmas and birthdays with small children, it can be disappointing for the young parents who have planned and sacrificed only to have the immature little ones prefer the colorful wrapping paper, ribbon, bows, and boxes to the true gift inside. What’s an astute parent to do?
Simple. Take the box away. No big deal. Let them play with it for a while, then to get their attention on the real thing by removing that which is, well, not real. Not lasting. Not the intended gift.
I’ve given myself away, right? There are several ways God allows this to play out in our lives, but here are a couple of pretty significant ones:
“So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view.”
Did you know that only about 3% of people have the “Hollywood” brand of beauty? (I’ll leave it at that, otherwise my soapbox gets a bit verbose.) And here’s another important consideration:
“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”
But I like my boxes! (Insert whine) My house, my gardens, my bicycles, my guitar, my health, my bank account (such as it is…) The unfortunate reality is that I am prone to allowing God’s beautiful blessings to distract me from what He truly intends for me to be doing with the blessings.
And my good, good Father, in His ultimate wisdom, power, and grace, sometimes just has to rearrange things so that I can—yes, I can’t resist, forgive me—
…think (and live!) outside the box.
2 Corinthians 5:16; Colossians 3:1-3 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.