Having unpacked the seventy or so boxes from our move (despite the slowing down nature of Covid for both of us) it’s good to see some semblance of normality gradually returning. Some stability in this time of change.
Moving house is a very good analogy to different aspects of life. It’s an occasion when one realises just how much ‘stuff’ one has. Not least the things that have moved from home to home without even being opened since the last time (or the time before that…).
It’s a time of upheaval and change, of being overwhelmed by all that needs to be done. But also a time of new beginnings, of starting again.
I’ve sometimes thought of counselling and therapy as being like tipping everything out of the box and putting it back in a better order. Like the physical counterpart, this mental ‘unpacking’ takes a lot of time and effort and can be overwhelming. But it too can be a time of new beginnings.
Boxes are also a good symbol of what we think about others and how we think they see us – and how we view ourselves too. In the previous post’s recording (there’s a video version as well now) I quoted someone else’s words: ‘Don’t compare the inside of yourself with the outside of other people.’
So often we think we know what’s in ‘someone else’s box’ – what they are like, what they are thinking, what their attitudes are… we convince ourselves that they have much better ‘stuff’ than we do and that they’re judging us about what we have (or don’t have) in ours (and vice-versa).
The reality is that others don’t know everything about us, in the same way we don’t know everything about other people (much as we think we might).
We like to put people in boxes. And other people like to put us in theirs too.
At Pentecost, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit to the early Christian church. The Holy Spirit is that great enabler of God’s work in our lives – yet is so often treated as that box in the corner which no one knows quite what to do with (let alone have a look inside it).
Some, on the other hand, are very attuned to the working of the Holy Spirit as the one who enables us to think outside of the box.
The one who gives us that nudge about someone or something else.
The one who comforts us and equips us for all that we do in God’s name.
The one who opens our ears and eyes, heart and mind to the wonders of God’s love and grace.
The one who enables us to always begin again.
The one through whom we can live as if unboxed.
Here’s a short video about Pentecost. Thank you for reading this post – please do share it with others, subscribe and contribute your thoughts at the WorkRestPray Facebook Group or follow on Twitter and Instagram.
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