When someone asks “How are you?” we generally say, “O, I’m fine even when we feel rotten. It’s better to just say “I’m fine”, because 80 percent could care less how you really are and when you give them the sad details, the other 20 percent are glad that you’re worse off than they are.
James, the practical apostle writes, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him get a box”. That isn’t exactly what James says, but I believe it does sort of capture the general meaning. The actual quote is from James 1:5. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally and without reproach; and it shall be given him”.
You need wisdom – ask God. Before asking you need to build a large front porch, buy or build some high back rockers, and invest considerable time just sitting, rocking and thinking. But what would you think about?
Ah, that’s where the box comes in. Get a box, just an average shoe size box. Now anything that causes a tear to fall, a full smile to form, or joyous laughter to break forth, put it in the box. Call it your “feeling” box. The joys the grief’s, the heartaches, the thrill of life – the love, the hurt, the poems, the cut outs, pictures, pressed flowers and remembrances – Just put them in the box.
The box is private and extremely personal. It is a box of emotions and feelings and no one will ever experience the same sensations you have in relation to the box. Do not expect it and don’t be disappointed when you allow others to look and they react with a ho-hum attitude. You do not need their approval when they peruse the intimate things of your life. No one has lived your life or felt your sorrows or tasted your tears. This is your world and the medium through which God intends to give you wisdom. You could call it “your wisdom box”.
Problems begin soon after you start. Your box will fill up and run over. It will not take very long and here’s where discipline comes into play. One lady said, “My whole house is my junk box”, but there is a world of difference in a junk box and a wisdom box.
I would be like Sir Winston Churchill when an irate woman said, “Mr. Churchill, If I were your wife, I’d feed you poison!” Churchill looked the woman up and down and declared, “If I were your husband, I’d take it”. Resist the temptation to enlarge your box. It’s alright to keep other stuff, but keep the best, the most precious items in the box. Funny, but the box itself will largely determine what it wants to keep and what is inferior in wisdom and feelings.
Many a box died because its owner inundated it with life’s trivia that had no real meaning or offered no real answers. The box will in some ways be a gauge to your maturity. God gives wisdom, but you need a box to keep it in. The mind is a wonderful computer, but often cannot recall that which the box can readily offer. By the way, do not throw away items simply because they did not make the box or were expelled from it. We tend to grow to a higher level, where what was first misread or misunderstood is more fully appreciated and enjoyed.
The rule is simple. Keep everything that touches you, bits and pieces of life. Often they go together like a giant jigsaw puzzle. Don’t burn love letters. Bits and pieces are parts of life, and while separate and apart, they look meaningless, but when put together, they often answer some of the most perplexing problems of life. Feel free to share your life but even then be selective. Everyone will not appreciate your box or its contents. Make copies and give them away but always keep the original. God must be a great poet for five of the sixty-six books in the Bible are poetic.
How do you do without a box? Very poorly. Then don’t hesitate. Get started. It’s not too late. Repent, change your mind and determine that you will build that porch, buy those rockers and get a box. Flip Wilson, the comedian, went to Africa to find his roots. He found them in Detroit Michigan! Keep your roots where you can reach them, touch them, hold them and love them. God gives wisdom but you must have time to recognize it, receive it, box it up and live it in your daily experience.
Most of us know better than we live. Wisdom is that missing link that hooks knowing and going together. King Solomon wrote “Happy is the one that finds wisdom and the one that gets understanding. For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things that you desire cannot compare with her. Length of days are in her right hand and in her left hand, riches and honor. . . she is a tree of life to those who take hold of her and happy are all who retain her” (Proverbs 3:13-18).
If any man lacks wisdom, let him get a box.