In recent months this quote has become one of our most frequently used one-liners. But it could be a bit confusing unless we explain the context.
A year ago, our home in Lilburn, Georgia was full of boxes. We had stacks of donated boxes ready to be unfolded and taped and filled. We had rooms collecting filled boxes that had already been taped and labeled. The boxes went on the moving van and followed us all the way.
Numbered boxes and descriptive lists of boxes were our every day life this time a year ago. So, we didn’t actually leave those kinds of boxes in Atlanta. No, no, we have the Allied Van Lines receipt and storage bills to prove that we carried more than we needed across America to our new home in the desert of California.
The boxes we’ve come to realize we left in Atlanta are cultural and religious boxes. You see, as we prepared for our move, we had more questions than answers. And for all of our questions, I just kept hearing that still small voice inviting us to simply ‘come and learn’.
It’s been an invitation that is fatherly and encouraging causing us to desire to be adventurous students in a foreign land. However, this invitation is also insistent and corrective, as our Lord Jesus has used these words to reveal religious pride rooted deep in us. These are humbling words bringing us to repentance as much as they are invitational words from a Good Father.
And so we moved all our boxes and things we thought we had to have in a new land, but the longer we’ve lived in this land the more we’ve discarded what doesn’t belong. The more we’ve learned the more we recognize we don’t know nearly as much as we think we do about God and His ways. The more opportunities we have to meet people and to hear their stories, the more we realize that God just doesn’t fit into any of our former religious boxes.
And so, my dear man, every time we get blown away by God’s majesty and grandeur and abundance in a dry and weary land, has begun to proclaim…
“I left my boxes in Atlanta!”
Don’t misunderstand. We’re not saying west coast is better than east coast. And please do understand we’re very much in favor of God’s Bride, the Church. We drew a 5-mile circle around our church and told our real estate agents we needed to find a home in that circle.
What we’re ‘learning’ daily is that we humans easily fall into culturally religious rhythms based on where we live and with whom we fellowship. God invited us up and out of all the boxes of stuff we thought we knew.
Our Father called us to ‘come and learn’. And I think my dear man agrees with me, rarely has such a simple invitation of three small words been so life changing and impactful.
Love from the fun couple until next time…
~Randy and Lisa