Friday, May 14, 2010

God-In-A-Box? People-In-Boxes?

From Max Lucado's Fearless (thanks Shenteng for sharing this article!):
A woman in the hotel check-in line was holding one of my books under her arm. I was hesitant to introduce myself lest she explain that her doctor had prescribed the volume as insomnia treatment. But I took the risk. She actually said she liked it. But on second glance, she didn’t believe that I was who I claimed to be.

She flipped open the dust jacket, looked at my picture, then up at me. ‘You’re not Max Lucado.’

‘Yes I am. The picture on the book was taken many years ago; I’ve changed.’

With no smile, she looked again at the photo. ‘No,’ she insisted, ‘Max Lucado has a mustache, no wrinkles, and a full head of hair.’

‘He used to,’ I explained.

She wouldn’t budge. ‘He still does.’

I wanted to show her my driver’s license but opted to let her live with her delusion. After all, if she wanted to remember me as a thirty-year-old, who was I to argue?

Besides, I understand her reluctance. Once you have someone pegged, it’s easier to leave him there. She had me figured out. Defined. Captured. Freeze-framed in a two-by-three image. Max-in-a-box.

Boxes bring wonderful order to our world. They keep cereal from spilling and books from tumbling. When it comes to containing stuff, boxes are masterful. But when it comes to explaining people, they fall short. And when it comes to defining Christ, no box works.
And here's what Shenteng shared:
My reflection is that many times I tend to box myself, people and God in a certain way. We tend to define people according to our experiences with them. Sometimes we box ourselves up thinking that we are a certain type of people. We also box God up in a certain way so that we can understand Him better.

I find that I cannot box myself up because it will limit my growth as a person. Likewise for other people, if we keep thinking that others will behave in a certain way, it limits our thinking and we are not allowing God to move in their lives and change them. My application is that I need to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal more about myself, others and God in my life. I need to stay open-minded in all areas. How about you? In what boxes have you tried to put yourself, others and Jesus in your life?

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