Friday, August 6, 2010

Actually, Life is Like a Box of Kleenex

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every
activity under heaven..." (Ecclesiastes 3: 1)

Tom Morey (creator of the the Boogie Board) has a new invention.
His latest creation is a foam wheel that makes a surfboard easier to
transport. When reading an article about Morey and his invention
I was struck by the way he talked about his creative process. "My
inventions are like Kleenex in a box", he said. "I have to pull one
out to get to the one after that."

While Mr. Morey's description is a clever way to describe inventing
things, I believe it also paints a picture of our overall life experience.

Our lives, it seems, are not only "like a box of chocolates" (as
Forrest Gump would say). They are also like a box of Kleenex.
That's because reality has layers. Each layer consists of a
particular collection of experiences, discoveries,failures, successes, pains,
triumphs, relationships and questions that we must process. Like
Mr. Morey's Kleenex box of new ideas, each collection of
perceptions and experiences must deliver its challenges and gifts
to us before we can be thoroughly present to the next one.

This is one reason I am drawn to the biographical stories of the
Bible. Each one introduces us to the key seasons in the life of
Joseph, or Ruth, or David or Paul in a stream of mini-stories.
David, for example, has his period of herding sheep in the back
country of Judah. It is there that he learns to slay the lion and the
bear. How could he have ever guessed that those experiences would
prepare him to face Goliath at age twenty?

By applying this concept to our own lives, we might discern some
important "chapter breaks" in our own development. Each period
will somehow bear the fingerprints of God whether we were aware
of Him at the time or not. By seeking to be present to the themes,
life lessons and relationships we identify, we can better see how
the Lord used each season to prepare us for the next.

In my journal, I once noted that God had been teaching me
that everything in my life prior to any given day had the potential
to prepare me for that days challenges and opportunities. Not only
do I believe this to be true, but I also believe we cannot successfully
"skip ahead" if we are to truly grow spiritually. We will need today's
experiences to ready us for tomorrow. Understanding this not only
packs our lives with new meaning; it also helps us see why we must
pull out our experiential Kleenex tissues one at a time!

So thanks, Mr. Morey, for helping me better understand how God
is shaping my one layer at a time. And, oh yeah, thanks for
inventing the Boogie Board, too!

* * * * *
A Prayer:
"Father, life will always have its mysteries. Yet I know
that You waste none of my life experiences in working out of Your
Master Plan.

Help me to be teachable, open, humble, discerning
and available as I go through the various chapters and seasons of
my life. May Your kingdom come and Your will be done as each
layer of my life experience leads to the next one. And may all things
work to Your Greater Glory in Jesus Christ, Amen".

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