Give the Box Away

I have a friend who is a retired military officer. Like many military folks, he and his wife moved often. They would get reassigned, pack up all their stuff, and get transported to another place. They became quite good at it.

Each time they moved, the military would issue boxes to pack all their earthly belongings. They also received colored stick-um dots to distinguish their cartons from everyone else’s. According to my friend, it was a pretty good system.

They, like everyone else I know, had unopened containers following each move. That sounds odd, but some things just aren’t worth unpacking. I’ve discovered the same phenomena in my life. I, too, have unopened boxes.

Sounds Like a Good System

The dot system employed by my friends began to work to their advantage. After a while, they noticed that some of their unopened boxes had two or more colored dots on them. They finally realized they were never going to open those packages. There was, apparently, no need to do so. So, they made the decision to give away any box that had garnered multiple dots. They were like Salvation Army grab bags with surprises in each one.

While I admire this gutsy move, I think I would be a bit shy to try this. Not knowing what I was giving away would be too much for me. There could be some long-forgotten treasure in one of those bundles. I would have a great fear of that unknown—dots not withstanding.

It’s the same way a lot of people view giving their lives to Christ. To them, it’s a great unknown. What will happen? Will I have to give anything up? Do you think my friends will reject me? The questions are numerous, and there are no definite answers. No one knows what will happen. No one can tell you what, if anything, you’ll have to give up. Maybe your friends can answer the last one, but even that is questionable.

Honored by the Father

Jesus once told his disciples that anyone who clings to the life they have would lose it. However, if they give it up (die to themselves) to follow him, they will have eternal life. The question is not about what we will lose, though. The really important question is about that which we’ll gain. To be honored by the Creator is the benefit of losing it all. Receiving the Father’s honor more than replaces everything we gave away.

Still, there are unknowns. We feel like we’re gambling, and the possibility of losing what we love looms large. The answer to that is faith. It’s not a blind faith to be sure. There is plenty of evidence that would turn us toward a life of serving Jesus. It’s still faith, however.

The author of Hebrews defined faith as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). It’s not easy placing your trust in someone you can’t see. It’s still the best way to go, however. Give the box away.

[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]

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