Growing up, my mom’s closet was full of boxes—orange boxes, apple boxes, and falling apart boxes. I distinctly remember an orange box (not the color, but a box that oranges had been packed in). This box was filled with old, unwanted toys my mom had grabbed from our rooms.
It was a magical box.
After a month or two in that box, those stashed away junk toys became the objects of our childish desires. I recall peeking through the air ventilation holes in that box with my brothers and sisters to see feet, eyes, wheels or fur of some toy in that charmed box. We would sigh with longing as we glimpsed those ‘treasures’ and wish we could get them out to play with again.
As time passed, those boxed-up toys became our obsession. We would beg Mom to please, please, please get those amazing toys out of that box so we could play with them once more. They were the best, most awesome toys in the world. We didn’t understand why she would stash them away to make us so unhappy.
When she would finally relent (after weeks or months of pestering), the day would take on a “Christmas-like” state. We would take each toy out in wonder, our eyes lighting up as we oohed and ahhed over the magnificent toy. Life was perfect now. We had the best toys in the world, and didn’t even notice Mom nonchalantly picking up the now ‘unwanted’ toys to fill the box up again.
She stashed the box back into her crowded closet…and the magic would begin once more. Time in the mystical box would change those toys’ status from “unwanted” to “favorite.” It never failed.
Thinking of that box now, I wonder if I’m not the same way. It’s easy to take things for granted when you have them with you all the time. Precious gifts like family, talents, or other blessings can easily be overlooked and taken for granted if we’re not careful. It’s human nature.
The things that matter (like spouses, children, parents, siblings, positive traits, testimony, our own bodies, etc) can be brushed over as unimportant as we wish and obsess over what we DON’T or CAN’T have. That’s why so many marriages fall apart, why so many families crumble and disintegrate. That’s why so many people are depressed and unhappy.
What the lesson of the MAGICAL ORANGE BOX teaches me, is that things that might seem unimportant today—if TAKEN away—might become the most important things ever…things we yearn for once they’re gone.
What would happen if your annoying chatterbox child was suddenly taken from you in a horrible car crash? Or what if your spouse who ticked you off with a thoughtless remark was suddenly diagnosed with cancer? Or you lose your eyesight, or can’t sleep anymore? There are millions of scenarios.
Hopefully we don’t have to lose something important to realize what we already had.
Blessings surround us. We just have to have eyes to see them. We don’t need a magical orange box to put our possessions in to regain value. The value was already there. Take a minute or so each day to REMEMBER everything you already have…and the magic will happen.