That simple cardboard box. It always sits there, gets kicked when people walk by, beckons eyes to search its jumbled contents: half-way finished Blistex tube, umbrella with two ribs broken, lone gray sock searching for its mate.
It’s the box that holds our hopes when we say a prayer before scooping up dinged sunglasses and faded lunch boxes, longing for our keys to somehow manage their way safely to this cardboard nest, where we might receive a second chance after misplacing, forgetting and neglecting.
It’s the box that made us embarrassed at summer camp, when we dreaded the daily song and dance that lead to divulging the objects that might have revealed Benny Booboo stuffed rabbit that we had left in the bathroom, our Tuesday underwear that blew off the clothes line, or the Spider Man slipper that got chucked across the gym during movie night.
Whether or not this box induces fear or faith, you know it well. The box of Lost and Found.
I don’t know if you’ve only kept this image to material things that we lose and then go on search for, or simply lay to rest with the marker, “permanently lost,” but it seems like this Lost and Found box is almost more applicable to our own lives, rather than water bottles, laser pointers and Tupperware.
Are there days when you walk through life and you kind of feel, well, lost – out of place, maybe? You haven’t forgotten what street you need to turn on to get to the office, or what part of town you’re in when you get off the bus, but you just feel like your mind is in one place, your body another.
It’s draining, disconcerting even, when we feel like we’re off track. ‘Why can’t I just feel normal?’ ‘Where am I supposed to be going in life?’ ‘Is this – this daily routine- what’s meant for me?’
The hard thing is that we can’t run to that Lost and Found box when these questions crop up in our heads. We can’t rummage through a box or turn over couch cushions to find the answers, to find ourselves.
Most times we go on with our 7:30 am double lattes, conference calls, rush hour traffic, Wednesday night dance class, microwaved lasagna dinners – hoping that if we just stick to routine, our joy-filled spirits might return.
But does that really seem like way to finding something lost? To keep doing what we’ve always been doing, keep living the way we’ve been conditioned to live, keep rejecting emotions and stuffing down tears because that is how we’ve been taught to appear “strong?”
I’m not sure where you are in life – if you’re walking down 5th Avenue in your power heels, or if you’re sitting in an swivel chair, counting down the hours till you get off of work – either way, you might be feeling displaced, fake or lost.
I can’t promise you that you’ll find yourself tomorrow, next week, or by Christmas morning, but I can tell you this – if I didn’t trust in God as my Father, I would be in a place where earthly light is no where near sufficient to help me find my way.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” 2 Corinthians 4:16