Into the Box, Too

god jarI suppose that with almost 1,700 posts hiding in the dark recesses of Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog, it was inevitable that eventually, I’d sit down to write a post with a topic … and a title … in mind only to find that I’d already written it.  Back in September of 2011, I wrote a post titled Into the Box concerning a spiritual artifice that I’ve some across on a variety of self-help venues, variously known as a God Jar, a God Can (as in I Can’t, God Can) or God Box.  It is a place to symbolically put things that you want to turn over to God.  If calling something an artifice sounds dismissive, that would be the work of my Inner Skeptic who used to be in charge around here.  He has a similar opinion of bumper sticker slogans like Let Go and Let God.  My Inner Skeptic, a close friend of my Outer Scientist, is results-oriented … if I put something in a God Box, he wants to know what happens.  If I let go and let somebody, he wants to know what that somebody does.  Although my Inner Skeptic doesn’t run the show around here any more, he can be very useful in practical pursuits like science so I don’t condemn him to my mental dungeon, even in spiritual matters.

In the circles I travel (and I often travel in circles), some folks are fond of telling stories about things they put in their God Box and got amazing results.   An annoying neighbor moved away or a check showed up just in time to pay agod box bill that was unpayable only a few days earlier.  This drives my Inner Skeptic crazy in spite of the fact that I could tell similar stories.  That’s because my God Box contains just as many situations turned over to God that worked out very differently than the way I’d hoped.  Some folks are fond of pointing out that sometimes things that don’t go my way turn out better in the long run.  Yes.  True.  But I have to agree with my Inner Skeptic … not always.  Sometimes, bad things happen in this life and it doesn’t help me much to imagine that it’s for the ultimate good in some way that only a Higher Power can understand.   I know that works for some folks.  For me, putting something in the God Box is about unconditional acceptance.  If it turns out in a way that I can perceive as positive, it helps me remember God’s role in it … I believe no one is self-made in God’s world.  And if it turns out badly for me, it helps me accept that, too.  I’m not the center of God’s universe and there are things I will not understand, at least in this lifetime.  That’s a point of view my Inner Skeptic can live with.

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One Comment on “Into the Box, Too”

  1. territerri Says:

    I think I tend to lean in the same direction as you where the God Box is concerned. I can see where it’s an effective coping mechanism for some though. No matter what anyone believes is happening by putting something in the box, it seems like a good way to step back from any problem long enough to either gain perspective or let it work itself out.

    Of course, I’m currently reading ‘Conversations with God,’ so the idea is pretty fresh in my mind that God doesn’t decide outcomes specifically to our benefit or detriment.

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