Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Boxed In

Photo Credit:  cohdra at
We went to our local 4-H Harvest of Fun festival this past Sunday and had a wonderful time!  We had never been to this particular event before, so the kids enjoyed the new variety of games there.  They had the ole stand-bys of the duck pond, ring toss, corn dig, and cake walk.  But, then there were some unusual ones like archery and the “Poop Plop” that we hadn’t done before.

The WHAT?!  Yes, after each of my three kids won a cake at the cake walk (which we’ll be eating for weeks…), we headed over to see what all the excitement was at the “Poop Plop.”  I had to laugh because this type of game would only be welcomed in rural areas where the smell of poop is a breath of fresh air for some.  And, for those intensely passionate about cattle, the smell of poop is the smell of money, so it’s even more so appreciated, I’d say.

Anyway, the object of the game was for participants to buy a numbered square from a chart of about 100 squares or so.  Part of the donation would go to the winning individual and the other part would go back to the organization.  Sounds fair enough.

Now, how would one win at this unique game?  Well, they put a snazzy little heifer in a fenced-in area in a corner that was marked off with numbered squares on the ground.  If she pooped in the numbered square you paid for…YOU are the lucky winner of the pot!

So, in theory it all sounds fine and dandy, right?  One of the 4-H students had meticulously marked off nice little squares in the dirt and the sweetie pie heifer was supposed to come in, do her business, and leave.  Game over, right?  Wrong.  It couldn’t have gone more awry.

First of all, the poor young cow was asked to do a daunting task in my opinion.  She was supposed to “do her business” with about fifty eyeballs watching her back-end.  Not gonna happen.  Secondly, who can poop on demand?  (Why on earth am I talking about poop?)

We were all watching.  We were all waiting.  We were all looking at each other watching and waiting.  Anyway, the heifer just “had it!”  She gave us a nasty look (well, sort of) and basically just laid down and started wallowing around in the dirt, moving her head from side to side over and over again…completely and utterly messing up any and all “squares” that were at one time visible.

My friend, Dodie, and I watched in disbelief.  Then, we couldn’t stop giggling.  I told her that the whole thing reminded me of that great line in the movie, Dirty Dancing – “NOBODY puts Baby in a corner!”

I wish I knew how the “Poop Plop” ended, but we needed to get home.  I guess I’ll never know who “won” – “Baby” or a lucky individual.  But, what I did take away was that that little gal did NOT like being cornered.

I guess she’s not a whole lot different than us.  We don’t really care to be “boxed in” or pushed in a corner by someone else either, right?  We all enjoy our room to breathe…to be ourselves…to live.

However, sometimes we box our own selves in.  We limit ourselves by negative or “what if?” thinking and by all of our self-imposed boundaries.  We can also push ourselves into an angry corner by thinking that everyone communicates the same way as we do and then not understand when things go wrong.

Our love languages differ and so can our ways of communicating.  Some people primarily text, some e-mail, some facebook, some tweet…but, in my opinion, nothing beats a good old-fashioned eye to eye or a phone chat.  Call me old-timey, but I’m okay with that.

Too many times an e-mail, text, or facebook post can be misconstrued, misinterpreted, or perceived to be something completely different than its original intent.  I’m sure it’s happened to everyone out there at least once.  There is just no “voice” behind those black words on the screen.

Don’t get me wrong.  Technology is a wonderful way to get information distributed, BUT, it can also be disaster waiting to happen when misunderstood – even just the slightest bit.  I always try to keep that in mind during those crucial few moments before I press…send.

Another special someone who really doesn’t deserve to be boxed in is God.  Sometimes it’s easy for us to just keep Him in a corner until we really need Him.  You know…it’s nice to have Him around at weddings and funerals, when someone’s sick or dying, and on special occasions like Easter and Christmas.  But, on a regular day-to-day basis, He often might be forgotten in our fast-paced lives.  And if we think about it, sometimes, it’s the ordinary days in which we need Him most.

How easy it is to forget how magnificent God is – how diverse and creative.  How often do we wrongfully “limit” Him?  As Francis Chan says in his book, Crazy Love - “If my mind is the size of a soda can and God is the size of all the oceans, it would be stupid for me to say He is only the small amount of water I can scoop into my little can.  God is so much bigger, so far beyond our time-encased, air/food/sleep-dependent lives.”

Chan goes on to say that this God who is the Maker of the billions of galaxies and thousands of tree species is the same “God who takes the time to know all the little details about each of us.  He does not have to know us so well, but He chooses to.”

What if we tried to return the favor and get to know Him better?  I know I can easily get overwhelmed with life’s little details.  But, who knows details better than the Lord above?  Heck, Chan states that a caterpillar has 228 separate and distinct muscles on its head alone and that the average elm tree has almost 6 million leaves!  Don't even get me started on the marvelous human body!  The Creator knows details.

I want God to hold my hand in His and walk with me through life’s little details.  I want Him to hold my hand as I journey out of any “boxed in” or limiting situation I’ve found myself in.  I want Him to hold my hand as I move out of life’s tough corners.

I specifically want HIM to hold MY hand so that when things get hard and I try to let go, He’s still holding on.  It’s safer to let God hold our hand in His instead of us trying to hold His hand in ours.  Because, if we are the ones in control and we just choose to hold His hand when we want to...feel like it…need something…or have the time - then it’s too easy to let go when we don’t.


  1. Another great reminder that one should not never forget the greatness and constancy of our Creator....even when we think He is NOT never.....guess who moved.

    1. That is supposed to be "even when we think He is NOT near"

    2. You're so right - when I feel distant from God and think He is nowhere to be found, I have a tendency to think that He moved.'s me that did the moving. Love it! Thanks for sharing.