I hate to admit it, but I live in a box. It’s a box created for me by others, by business, family, friends and the world around me. But the really sad truth is that I willingly climbed in the box and taped the lid shut…never asking if it was a box I should be in at all, never thinking about the implications of such a box in my life. Like everyone around me I was given a box by someone somewhere and willingly made it my own and even wrote my name on it! It became part of my identity.
Like children playing, making cars, houses and forts out of boxes we adults build invisible boxes for one another. Boxes of expectation, roles, position, and a hundred other words to describe the box we have come to call our identity, or role, our “place”. We never stop to think about what that box means, how it might affect us and our choices or the way we think. Our box limits our choices, restricts our vision, and frustrates our gifts.
This morning I had coffee with a good friend who told me I was living in a box. He didn’t know where I got it, but he described it well. As he listened to me he made me aware of how restricted my vision had become because of the box I had accepted many years ago. It was humbling to realize I had been given a box and had never questioned its role in my life. Was it right? Should I get into it? Is this the way I should live? Is this how I should think?
Without any questions I took the boxes handed me and made them my own. They have limited me, identified me, and restricted God’s work in my life. How did I ever let this happen? Why did I believe this box was what I needed to identify me?
Children love boxes. They aren’t so much fun when they define your life, your thinking or your values as an adult. I can’t believe that I let this happen….happy to look out the hole I had cut in my box and survey the world around me….trying to make boxes like mine for others….only to find I had made prisoners of us all.
I’m taking a different tack today as I look at my thoughts and my life. I’ve decided it’s time to be done with the boxes of childhood and walk in the freedom of the grace that Christ has provided.
Read Romans 8 as you look at your own life. What boxes have you made your own? How have you missed God’s grace by accepting the boxes others have given you?
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