Boxes are all around us today! We have the big box stores that have gobbled up the mom and pop shops.
And the boxes of packages that we juggle around in our arms, trying not to drop them as we head for home with them.
Some boxes like shoe boxes are predictable in what we assume that they are.
Boxes are also associated with the moves that people make from one stage of life to the next or just to bury stuff to get it out of their way. They are great to sort the stuff and make order out of apparent chaos.
I am faced with the same box dilemma. What box should I pursue for my future job. I sense the Holy Spirit suggesting to me that I may be pushing too hard in the direction of accounts receivable and maybe I should pursue a few other directions. I may be focusing too much attention on the open lid of what I want but not exploring deeper of what is within the shoe box of opportunity that may be presenting itself. That lid may even go to another box and would not fit the box that it belongs to. Or I may have to adapt the lid to the box or marry the apparent paradox.
At christmastimes in the past, I remember sitting besides the tree and distributing the presents. I looked at the red, green and silver tags and read them and gave them to my dad, mom, or my brother or niece. That was always enjoyable as I awaited in anticipation of what would be inside the boxes. Sitting around in our pajamas after we have had our breakfast, we were eager to dive into the tree. Occasionally, envelopes were nestled in the trees for magazine gift certificates or for special presents. One Christmas, a picture of the Victory Chimes was glued on a card with a note announcing the which represented the 4 day cruise in the Penobscot Bay for the following summer.
At the end of our opening of the presents, we placed the gifts neatly in piles beneath the tree so that each of us could dip in and out of them at leisure during the weekend.
The best part of the gifts or talents in life is to display them.. We are each given talents and it is best to use them to fully bless others. The gift that I was given was the gift of encouragement. I enjoy helping others and making others feel welcome. I got the same feeling as I used to put the tree together from the box and match up the colored branch boughs to the trunk of the tree. It takes a long bare pole and dresses it up with elegant boughs wrapped with balls, silver and gold garland and pointy stars and homemade ornaments created over the years.
Flashing back to the first unofficial calendar christmas, the three magi traveled a far distance and brought with them their three gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh. These gifts cost each of these wise men a great price, but the beauty is that they chose one each and did so out of symbolism and from the heart. Gold represented the kingship of the Lord and the myrrh represented the preservation of the Lord and the franincense represented scent of priests. Wrapping the three gifts together expresses how we need to elevate the importance of our preservation of our relationships and to make them attractive to people from afar. That is why I love the holiday of Christmas so much. It appeals to the child within us and also the adult longing to connect with others.
The one box that I am really looking forward to opening is the new one which will have the job that is best suited for me. I feel as if I am waving the cursor over the wrapped box on the internet to see what prize I won, only to be told that this time I am not a winner. It can lead to disappointment and angst and a period of not wanting to go further in the search.
But I do know that others are out there who need my help, and I am enjoying being their guide for whatever time they need. I would not have been there if I was not given an opportunity to stop flying in the direction I was going. Now I just await to see which direction that I am going next.
It is going to be different without my dad during the second christmas without his presence. But I am thankful to have had a good dream of being around in his presence.
I am definitely looking forward to being with my niece, Abby and my brother and mom as we four are there to celebrate Christmas dinner and to watch the freshly fallen snow on the coast of Maine. And to listen to the Christmas music and to see the decorations that adorn the houses . And be with the tangible and intangible bonds of memory.