I am a box-aholic. I admit it, so now the healing can begin. Right?
I discovered the depth of my problem last weekend as we cleaned out closets. More than 26 boxes were broken down and sent to the recycle bin (as I breathed deeply into a paper sack!) And that number, 26, didn’t include the boxes my husband allowed me to keep (lots of them—Just in case one is needed to ship something, or to protect a gift, or…)
I hate wasting a good box. I define a “good box” as one that has little damage, is not marked up or overly labeled (and will fit nicely inside the other boxes my husband allowed me to keep!) 😉 😉
As my disorder was unfolding before me (breathing in my paper bag, watching my husband break down the boxes for the recycle bin) my husband asked, “Do you have enough other boxes for your needs?”
I heaved in a breath, “Yes. I think so.”
“Okay, then this is okay. This clears up space…” He looks at me with his patient and understanding eyes. Yet, a little question was hiding behind them.
I guess I just love the order of a box. It’s nice shape, its ability to wrap and protect things. I also love having them when I need them and I always have the perfect size available to me! (Or at least I used to!) 😉
And let’s get deeper and more honest, I love receiving boxes. Care packages, Amazon.com orders, birthday presents all bundled up, even the cat-foot order or shipments for my husband’s business…
Opening them up with the wonderment and (sometimes) surprise usually reserved for Christmas morning.
All these things add to my unhealthy attachment to this lightweight, mauve-colored item of little worth.
So what is it with the boxes?
ORDERING –This goes to a deeper issue that I will tackle after I get through this one. But the ordering of items on-line is so great! Just the press of a few buttons, a little plastic card entered, and a few days later…gratification! AND A BOX!
My cats understand this—they love the boxes also! Rubbing on them, jumping in and out of them, playing hide and seek, lazing the day away in them. They totally get me.
And isn’t recycling a good thing? I always try to re-use them for good purpose (and hold onto the good ones for a special occasion!) <–And that right there is called “Justification!”
As I write through this problem (and realize I have it deeply as evidenced by my joy and wonderment as the cyber-Monday packages arrive daily), I discovered the root.
Not so much the ordering (on-line) but the ORDER. There is symmetry to boxes; the shape alone. There is the challenge of fitting the maximum amount of boxes inside one another, so my husband will allow me to keep more! There is control in placing an order and receiving a box. I find it magical!
But life is not like this; all packaged up perfectly, with symmetry, control, and ORDER.
Life is born out of chaos and this broken world rarely hand-delivers exactly what we asked for.
How often have I prayed for one thing, and received something entirely different?
When my father’s cancer arrived, packaged up with a 6 month sentence on his life, I tried to return it.
As I mourned and then watch several friends suffer through heartbreaking losses of loved ones, one after the other, I know they didn’t order that—ABSOLUTELY NO RETURNS.
What kind of customer service is that?
Yet, as I look back on all these “un-ordered” things that I have been through; the messiness of life, the reality of life, — I can honestly say that it has been during these times– the intense helplessness and in the darkest of moments that the free-fall of faith has been the sustaining and strengthening of my soul.
MAKE ME THE FOCAL POINT of your search for security. In your private thoughts, you are still trying to order your world so that it is predictable and feels safe. Not only is this an impossible goal, but it is also counterproductive to spiritual growth. When your private world feels unsteady and you grip My hand for support, you are living in conscious dependence on Me.
Instead of yearning for a problem-free life, rejoice that trouble can highlight your awareness of My Presence…” Sarah Young in “JESUS CALLING”
Did God somehow know that I would need to hear that answer today, as I am delving into my box-aholism?
Now that’s customer service!
And it’s not that I rejoice in this world’s troubles; there are simply things that are so awful, like Alzheimer’s, cancer, Ebola, child abuse, riots, etc., but I rejoice that there is One at work in all of it. He’s working through each of us to make a difference, to bring a courageous face, to bring hope to shine His light through these circumstances.
I rejoice that I know the One who gave his life up so that I could live without the shackles and bondage that sin and death are wreaking in our broken world.
As I give up on trying to make order out of things that show up on my door-step and just figure out what to keep and what to let go, I grow in grace and maturity and dependence.
As I prepare another bin of recycling and let go of the desire to wrap things up nicely in one of my “good boxes,” and instead I grip the hand of the One who put order into the universe, I find peace.
1 Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not a god of disorder, but of peace…”