When God Doesn’t Fit into Our Boxes

(in)courage | 8/21/2019 | Staff
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My most treasured college graduation gift is a beautifully restored antique card catalog that I received from my parents.

They hid it under flowered bedsheets in our garage until graduation day when they led me by hand to the dark corner of the garage and pulled the sheet from the top with the same fanfare as a magician yanking a tablecloth from a perfectly set table.

Ta-da - Delight

“Ta-da!” they yelled, and I screamed in delight.

It had everything I’d ever wanted. Sturdy legs. Gorgeous brass pulls. Fifty-four identical drawers divided into six columns like soldiers standing at attention.

Items - Sort - Store - Compartments - Treasure

I immediately began imagining all of the miscellaneous items I’d organize, sort, and store in the generous compartments once my new treasure and I moved into our first home. Batteries. Pens. Light bulbs. Craft supplies. The possibilities were endless.

My card catalog was the first thing I thought of during a corporate training event when the career coach asked us to name the one inanimate object that we most valued in our lives.

Hand - Mine - Card - Catalog - Parents

My hand shot up. “That’s easy. Mine is an antique card catalog I received from parents,” I shared with the affection of a new mother describing her firstborn.

“Interesting,” she said. “You must not like surprises.”

Surprises - Card - Catalog - Surprise

I disagreed, “No. I love surprises. My card catalog was a surprise.”

“I don’t mean surprises as gifts. I mean surprises in life.”

I’d never considered that before.

She elaborated, “A card catalog is something that helps create order from chaos. It keeps things predictable instead of surprising. A place for everything and everything in its place. I would guess that your ultimate goal is to have your life as well organized as you have your card catalog.”

Disdain - Day - Card - Catalog - Mirrors

I’d never realized my general disdain for the unknown until that day, and I’m still amazed at how much my card catalog still mirrors my insecurities regarding all...
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