Over the years the phrase “think outside the box” has become something akin to a biblical mantra. There was even a book called Evangelism Outside the Box, which I can only assume was about spreading the gospel in UPS warehouses. I certainly agree with the sentiment that we should be considering new ways to approach old problems and that we should be progressive in the ways we engage our changing culture. But it struck me this morning (as I was listening to some Kanye, I doubt there’s a connection) that as we try so desperately to get out of “the box” we’re busting out the tape gun and making new ones.
A box is a way of thinking about and doing things. Even laying on your couch all day and doing nothing is a box–a small box. There is great validity in thinking about the paramaters we live within–questioning them and thinking about how we could create new boxes that would be more effective at accomplishing what we want in life, service, ministry, whatever. But it’s also important to understand that at some point we’re going to create a box we’re pretty comfortable with and we won’t want anyone to question it, and that’s not okay. Until Christ returns there will always be a little bit better box, and we should keep working toward it. Thinking outside the walls of the constructs we’ve created about what could be. Then taking the initiative to make the positive changes necessary to take the good from the old box and leave the rest behind for, well, browner, cardboard-ier pastures (how’s that for mixing metaphors!).