Saturday, May 16, 2009

Jack In the box

As a small child I recall being introduced to jack in the box for the first time. As the crank was turned the music began to play and I listened with fascination while the mechanical and colorful box echoed the music of, “all around the mulberry bush the monkey chased the weasel, the monkey thought is was all in fun pop goes the weasel”!

Then to my surprise the lid flew open with a loud noise a colorful spring loaded clown ejected out of middle of the box. The clown wobbled on its spring until it stood still and we all stared at the clowns face not sure of what had just happened.

It wasn’t too long before we shoved the clown back in the box and the lid was slammed shut. The crank was turned again with the familiar tune being replayed. Same tune only this time we cranked it faster. Eventually we were hoping to skip over the part where the latch would release the clown.

Being creative as we were, we cranked it backwards to hear the tune in reverse. We’d even hold our hand over the lid when we got to the part where we knew the clown would have popped out.

After a while we were no longer amused by the surprise and eventually it was regarded as cheep entertainment.

Years have passed and it dawned on me this past week that there is a lesson to be observed which relates to the simple Jack in the box. Many of the unexpected trials and tribulations in our lives are truly “Jack in the box moments”.

As an example, when the tune of life is played, we quickly realize that the tune of life is inevitable. It’s always an unexpected disaster that hits or an issue that pops its head out of the box and it catches us by surprise.

Often it’s a colorful and horrifying event at first which wobbles in our face until we can regain some composure. Then we have to make adjustments or changes in our lives to which we allow the music of life to start up again.

These moments are things that everyone faces such as life and death, accidents and sicknesses, unexpected bills, people, weaknesses, sins, distractions, entrapments and circumstances and responsibilities in our lives which challenge us at every turn.

Fortunately God does not allow us to know the tune of life well enough to know when the lid is about to pop open and an unexpected event takes us by surprise.

In reality its best that we don’t know what the future holds. We aren’t allowed to hold our hands over the future circumstances to avoid the unexpected or the inevitable. However we can be prepared for those moments by being spiritually ready for the things that challenge us.

There are those who have become calloused towards life’s challenges, but being distant and cold towards God or stubborn and unattached doesn’t allow for God to work in our lives.

Could it be that that those who are afraid of clowns were exposed to Jack at an early age?
Perhaps now would be a good time to realize that the unexpected its part of what life is about and we need to have confidence through Christ to bring closure to the unnecessary fear and anger or frustrations that constantly startles us and wobbles in our faces.

God has a unique plan and a purpose for each one of us and we need to realize that we cannot be intimidated by the probability of “the inevitable surprise”. We need to humbly face the facts, when these things happen, and put it back into its proper perspective, i.e. “God in control of our lives and its circumstance no mater how complicated they may be”. Then, move on with lessons learned.

I have found that through Christ we can put what ever challenge is presented to us back in its place and to close the issue and move on knowing that sooner or later we will be faced with a new challenge that only God through Christ will help us through.

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