The Liberty Connection

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Life in a Box Analogy

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Revised June 12, 2011

Life in a Box Analogy

Imagine living all your life within a little box. Everything you know is defined by the walls of that box. You are very comfortable around the people inside that box. You are all convinced that whatever God does, surely all of you inside the box will be the first to know about it. And in fact, talk of God doing anything outside the box is discouraged because everyone inside knows that they are God's people and life inside the box is what it's all about.

You know that there are people outside the box but you're not quite sure what they're about. The walls of the box prevent you from really understanding those other people and that's a good thing because if you got to understand those outside, well, you might just want to leave the box, and that would be really dangerous because when Jesus returns, He's only coming back to pick up that box and then burn up everybody else. You don't want to be outside the box when Jesus returns.

But then what happens when God opens the top just a little bit and you're only one that sees it. It's really bright outside and looks scary. Too many new things to consider. But you build up the courage and while everyone is screaming at you not to look outside you gently poke your nose out and take a sniff of the air. Hey! It smells okay! "Of course" yell all the other people "But it will kill you if you breathe it in long enough."

Meanwhile you're looking out through the gap and things look pretty interesting. So you tentatively slip outside but keep a tight hold on the box because you don't want to fall off the top and lose out. But hey! It's really scary out here and at the same time it's a bit exhilarating! There are so many amazing things to see and people start coming up and talking to you and they wonder what you're doing. You explain to them that you've been living in that there box and you're just having a look at what's outside. Some people tell you that they've seen the box and they know that others live inside and never come out. They think that's a pretty strange way to live because it's clear to them that not much would happen inside that little box.

But anyway you start taking some but what's this? It hasn't killed you after all! but oh no! The thought jumps in your head that Jesus might come back while you're outside the box. You feel really afraid for a bit but then you look around and see all this amazing stuff and lovely people. Some of them even claim to know God! You spend some time talking with these people and you discover that maybe they do know God. They seem to act like they know Him.

Time slips by and you go on all sorts of amazing adventures and learn heaps of new things and have the best time with people you'd have never met if you'd stayed in the box. Meanwhile you discover that you still know God and that He didn't leave you when you stepped outside the box. In fact, if you're honest, you admit that you probably know more about God now then you ever did the whole time you were in the box. It seems like now, your life is just one big adventure with God instead of just saying and doing things inside the box that other people inside the box say and do as well.

So you discover that God is doing many different and amazing things and you admit that you'd never have found out about them if you'd stayed inside. In fact, when you really stop to think about it, you wonder why you stayed there as long as you did, and then eventually you ask yourself "What could possibly get me back in that box?" And you realise the answer is....nothing!

But then you remember there's a lot of people in that box that you care about. So you try and call out to them and try to explain how great it is outside and that God is doing so much more than we ever thought possible. But the people inside the box just don't want to know. Many of them ignore you, and others say you're lying and others pretend you don't exist anymore.

Most of them go on about their daily box lives as if you're just some annoying thing in their imagination. Really! The thought of it! Life outside the box! HUH! You might as well believe that people can live underwater without an oxygen tank. Some even make strange claims like, "I don't know to step outside the box to know that everybody out there is wrong."

But very, very occasionally, as long as you're patient and gentle and caring, someone inside the box asks a genuine question. They really want to know what life is like outside the box. So you tell them and share with them how great God has been.

And even more rarely one of them asks if you'll give them a hand because they want to get out of the box too. So you help them out, and they weep when they see how beautiful and amazing and wonderful and big that God really is! And after you've helped just one person out, you realise that this is what life is about! It's not about living your own way and doing whatever you want to do. It's all about helping other people get out of the boxes they're in.

By R.O.