Thoughts About Being Outside the Box

Have you ever had the feeling that you are inside a box inside a box inside a box?  And just perhaps, if you pushed hard enough against the sky, the blue lid would fly away and you could see the real world.  You could get beyond the mere exterior of a place, of an object, of a person.  Nighttime is like that for me.  It’s like the lid was taken off the world’s top.  And for once, I can see truly.

Stars fascinate me.  I know–I know they are physical objects, as real as the refrigerator in my kitchen.  But they seem so distant, so lofty, so true.  Almost too good to be true.  Too often I want to live up there–in the stars.  In the metaphysical.  Because it’s beautiful.

But color is fascinating too.  So is texture.  And fabric.  Metal.  Leaves.  Shale.  Marble.  Water.  Scales.  Rubber.  Hair.  Wings.  All aspects of the physical world.  So I forget the stars and dive into the physical world–touch, sight, smell, taste.

But something is missing.

I still look to the stars.  Not because they’re truly “outside the box.”  They’re merely part of an embroidered blanket laid over the top of our world.  But they’re closer to what is truly real underneath all this superficial, dying dust I live in.  I know man has a spirit.  I know there is a God.  I know He is real.  And because I know I have a spirit made to commune with Him, I feel drawn to discontentment with the external world.  It’s like looking at a tree–why settle for the bark?  I want to see its core.

This world is beautiful.  This world is exciting.  But if you’re content with just the external world, you’re only living on one level of life.  If you utterly reject the world of willow bark, sandstone, and leather, you risk asceticism.  God’s creation is both physical and spiritual.  Stars and starfish.  Metal and metaphysics.  Until the world has been undone by its Creator, we must balance both, rejoicing in the beauty of the physical without making this world our ultimate end.  We were made for more.  We were made to know God.

“When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained, what is man that Thou art mindful of him?  Or the son of man that Thou visitest Him?”
Psalm 8:3-4

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on thins that are above, no on things that are on earth.  For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”
Colossians 2:1-3

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