God in a Box

As seen in the HEARTbeat and Village Voice

God in a Box

 

            We organize things in our homes, sometimes to an obsession.  I remember my father telling me, “Put things back where they belong so you can find them again.”  There are two words in this phrase which are key to the premise of organization: belong and find.  Do inanimate objects “belong”, and can they be part of a process by which we can “find” them?

            In offices, a file folder with a name that begins with an “R” belongs in the file drawer between the letter Q and S, and then subsequently alphabetically with the R’s.  When we look for this file in the future, we will find it in its proper place.  Let an alphabetic filing system get out of place, and it takes an inordinate amount of time to find the file in question.

            Remember walking into a library when you were young?  Books had numbers on them, and there were stacks and stacks and row after row of books.  I think that feeling of being overwhelmed has stuck with me to this day!  The librarian was all to eager to teach me about the card catalog, and somewhere in the discussion I heard the words “Dewey Decimal System.”  This was a system with ten different groupings, then sub-groupings, cross references, etc.  She didn’t go in-depth with her explanation, but it made sense later in life.  Within the system, a book had a place it belonged which made it easier to find.

            So, if putting things away in their proper place (not just any place mind you) so they are easy to find creates organization, do we also do the same with God?  Have we put God in a place where He is easy to find?  And if He is in that place, then in our minds there must be places where God is not present?

            Many times we relegate God to a building – the church.  We go there expecting God to be there because that’s where we left Him.  And following the services, we leave God in His proper place so we know we can find Him the next time we attend!  This may be such a wrong way to think about God’s presence, but don’t we act this way sometimes?

            When we go to church, we have an expectation to meet with God through fellowship, praise and worship, and through His Word.  But are we actually limiting God when church is the only place where our expectations are such?  Then my question is this:  Are we putting God in a box or are we putting ourselves in a box?

            God is all-knowing and ever-present.  It would be easier to put all the atmosphere present at this moment in a container the size of even a mega-church building.  Ridiculous you say?  Then trying to place God in such a container is even more ridiculous.

            We need to change our expectations which is the key.  If we expect to encounter God on a daily basis, then we will.  If we put Him or into the church box only to experience Him next Sunday, then we will.  The key is ours.  Unlock the box so many of us use with your key.  Open it and God will expectantly be by your side all day long, making His presence known to you!