The voice on the other end of the conversation asked innocently, “Where are you?” My flight had just landed in Waco, and I was en route to home following an extended business trip out of state. I gave our ETA, and our daughter proceeded to explain her question. She told us that our grandson was waiting for us at the entrance to the private lane that leads to our home, and described my namesake (Joshua Dane) as both adorable and pathetic. Josh and I enjoy a special connection, and evidently, he had gone to great lengths in preparing for my homecoming, preparation that included crafting and decorating a cardboard box to herald my return.
We learned that Josh had taken two discarded cardboard boxes and combined them into one larger one in order to create what he called a ‘golf box.’ He then decorated it in his own, shall we say, “unique” handwriting. As he carried it down the long lane, the box collapsed. He was close to meltdown as his mother helped him frantically tape it back together, then watched him drag it behind him down the caliche path as fast as his legs would allow. When we arrived, Josh proudly displayed his creation, complete with emergency tape reinforcements. Josh had worked feverishly to make the box be just so, but never lost sight of his goal–namely, me.
Beware the danger of pitting holiness versus Him. “We are apt to make sanctification the end-all of our preaching. Paul alludes to personal experience by way of illustration, never as the end of the matter” (Oswald Chambers). Pursue Christ. When He shines a spotlight on something that needs correcting, respond to Him. Always to Him. When He nudges you into course correction, follow Him. Never lose Him in the serving or when attempting to follow His ways. Helen Keller said, “Blindness separates people from things,” but when giving undue attention to personal performance, we lose sight of and separate ourselves from Who matters most. “In the life overflowing in service for others we find God’s deep fountain spilling over the spring to find outlet in rivers of living water that bless and save the world around us” (A. B. Simpson). The whole beautiful ordeal reminds that what matters most in the end is not our beautiful box, but our embrace that speaks of reckless love. The more we make of Christ, the more we resemble Him in the process.