As I was tidying away my son’s toys I found myself becoming frustrated that they just didn’t fit nicely into his toy-box. Various shapes, sizes, colours, textures and materials mingled together to form the basis of his educational, yet irrationally and unevenly shaped collection of toys. Even the books didn’t seem to be normal book-shapes! As such, they just wouldn’t fit neatly together in a convenient and sensible box. As I tried to wedge in a particularly non-conformist toy, I found myself thinking of how we can be like these toys.
We are all amazingly and uniquely created in the most imaginative way. We all have so many facets to ourselves. There are our personalities, likes, and dislikes, talents, even our physical bodies. Yet we’re conditioned by life to fit into stereo-typical boxes. It could be the box for the good Christian or the box for the perfect wife, husband or parent. It could be that we should all look a certain way, wearing similar clothes and fitting them perfectly. Or it could be enforced upon you by your job, your community or your family.
It could even be a box you create for yourself in order to feel secure. Such pressures lead us to becoming frustrated as we strive to conform and gain man’s acceptance. Yet it’s impossible to conform because you just don’t fit the box. Ultimately you’ll fail in gaining man’s full acceptance. Many of us go through life working so hard to fit into the appropriate boxes that we lose sight of who we truly are.
For us to gain God’s acceptance we simply have to be ourselves; the true self that God foreknew (Jeremiah 1:5) and created from His heart of love and unlimited imagination. God’s acceptance is unconditional and is everlasting. Man’s acceptance is fickle, fallible and conditional.
As it is, Kyle’s toy-box is simply buried beneath a jumbled collection of bright colours and exciting opportunities for fun and learning. Maybe that’s how it should be for us. Rather than trying to conform to a box-like standard we should just enjoy being an exciting and colourful jumble of all that God made us to be!
Prayer: Father God. Thank You for making me, me. I’m sorry I’ve tried to squeeze myself into boxes that constrain my true self and I ask You to help me find more of the real me and enjoy my life as You wanted me to. Amen.