pondering my role in a bigger story

Monday, August 20, 2007

boxing God in *

September 2000, Gulf Shores, AL. I’m in a mid-level management position and I’m in over my head. I’m busting my tail and making it work. Clawing the walls pursuing success whatever the cost. Yet, spiritually I am dying on the inside. During a walk on the beach, a friend that was watching my downward spiral had the guts to get in my face and tell me that either God was enough, or He wasn’t - and I had to decide. Because I totally had God in a box. I hate the term "life-changing" because I think it is totally overused, but this was one of those moments for me, although I didn't realize it until later.

For months I had some alphabet magnets on my fridge that said ‘is God enough’ – a question that I really wrestled with. I don’t know the exact point that something changed, but it did, and one day I rearranged the magnets to say ‘God is enough’. Theology shift.

Last night I went to church with some friends. The theme of the message was God is Not in Your Box. It was an interactive evening, well done with a nice balance of reflective questions and audience participation. For me, the timing was impeccable as this came right on the heels of two long, bear-your-soul conversations with friends in the preceding 24 hours. The kind of conversations that you walk away from glad that you had, yet still wishing you hadn’t gone there because it is so vulnerable. And it stirs up your junk.

The last few days have been rather enlightening as I have realized how walled-off my heart has been and how shut-down I have been, both to God and other relationships. Not that I’m totally ready to do anything about it, but at least I see it.

And the whole God in a box thing – I’ve been searching for an analogy of it all day long. You know how when you try to put your sleeping bag into its stuff sack before you strap it to your pack, and somehow it just won’t all fit back into the sack nice and neat like it did when you packed it all up at home? Kind of lame, but that’s the analogy I’m currently working with…God just doesn't fit inside my compact parameters. Which I know is a good thing, but shouldn't I have this lesson down by now?

Processing as I go, this may seem disjointed, but writing helps me put the pieces together a little bit.

* painting by my friend Jenny of The Artist's Touch

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Blogger Tammy M. said...

It seems to me when my sould is restless, those are the times God is calling me closer, take one more baby step. He wont leave us where we are, but loves us like crazy no matter where we are. He is an Awesome Mystical Creator, and our boxes just don't fit even his little finger. If you haven't read Leaving Church by Barbara Brown Taylor you would love it. Blessings on your journey.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 7:25:00 AM

Blogger Denise W said...

See, you have to come to Abilene and meet Tammy, yall are Soul Sisters!

It seems that just when we think we got God down and get Him. He throws something at us and He again becomes un-get-able. Love you for seeking Him.....

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 9:20:00 AM

Blogger Jennifer said...

Thanks for your post and for sharing your process.

I think we're all in the expanding/exploding box process. Do we ever completely learn that lesson this side of heaven? It can be a bit jarring, though. I guess epiphanies and resulting freedom happen bit by bit as we go. The box starts to become uncomfortable (and thankfully so, so that we want the better thing waiting to be revealed.) I'm cheering you on.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 8:01:00 PM


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