In the box

Our cat Emma finds all sorts of places to sit and sleep. When we first arrived her favorite was on top of the towering piles of boxes. As they got shorter and fewer she would find whichever box was the highest and leap to it – until the day she hit one which had been opened and partially emptied and she fell inside. Next it was patches of sunlight streaming thought the tall windows – but as we put up curtains they diffused the light and she sought new places.

She next took over a portion of my desk with a southern exposure where the diffused light was warmest. Then it turned cloudy for several days and she found a yellow plastic crate which had some fibre goods of Nancy’s’ with a folded wall quilt on top of the pile. This has become her new nest. What is strange is that it is not all that comfortable. She wedges herself in there on this bumpy pile of stuff. Now if we had tried to get her to sleep there and had put here there she would have refused and stalked away. But she found this makeshift bed on her own and so this nest has become a haven – a safe space that is not as likely as boxes and sunny patched to disappear. So she keeps going back to it and puts up with it being too small and uncomfortable. It is not as good and comfy as she would like but it is safe and she stays and doesn’t look any farther.

We can be like that too. We try to find something safe even if it doesn’t really fit us because we are afraid of losing it all if we venture forth to find what really fits us, what would be most comfortable for us in the long run. To venture is a risk and results cannot be guaranteed. But all of life is risk and nothing is really safe. Not even life in the box we have created for ourselves. But if we don’t risk, never thin “out” of the box we end up never find out what life could really be like.

What is the box you are stuck in? What will it take for you to venture forth?



About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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