Box and anti-box people.

Box and anti-box people.

Last night I had a board meeting for work. Don’t worry though, it isn’t as ominous as it sounds, honestly, my board members are a delight to work with. At some point during the meeting, one of the members made a comment, something to the effect of, “I’m an in the box person, but I think it’s important to try to think outside of that.” I laughed and said something to the effect of, “I’m definitely a outside the box person.” To which another present summed up, “That’s why we have lots of people at board meeting, we balance each other.”

This morning, as I was thinking over the events of the meeting, I realized that not only am I an outside the box person but I’ve never met a box that I wanted to be anywhere close to. Well, perhaps not never, but very rarely do I meet attractive boxes. I don’t perfectly fit any labels and I don’t fall clearly into many categories. When I was in college, for my psych and social work degree, I loved taking personality tests and seeing how different schools of thoughts characterized different personality types. The problem was that, generally speaking, the tests proved to be confused by me. One of them resulted in “an impossible personality combination” (as you can imagine that made me feel really good about myself 🙂 )

Sometimes I wonder why God made me the way that I am, so obviously outside “the box”. It seems like “box people” have significantly fewer complications in life. I wonder why I can’t just see things the way others see them, why do I tend to have differing opinions? But then I remember that last comment made last night, we need box people and we need anti-box people, we balance each other. If everyone always saw things the same way we would be in deep trouble when everyone was wrong. My opinions and views bring balance to other’s as they bring balance to me.

While I can’t always say this with confidence, today I can honestly say, I like who I am. Sure, some people call me feisty and that bothers me sometimes. But I’ve realized that the reason it bothers me is because it’s often implied that that’s a bad thing. But as I pray about it I realize that God made me to get feisty on occasion, I just need to make sure I’m feisty over the things that make Him feisty (which I’m working on).

About 6 months ago, without any previous conversation, a perfect stranger told me I was a rototiller. This set me back for just a minute, until he continued to say that God was using me to break up fallow ground so that it could be ready for planting and harvest of spiritual fruit. Personally, if we were going with this gardening analogy, I would much rather be a water hose, maybe the sunshine, or a soft refreshing wind…something more appreciated. I imagine the ground isn’t particularly fond of rototillers. It would thrill me if everyone liked me all the time, but generally people don’t like others messing with their fallow ground. Regardless of my preference, looking back at how God has used me thus far, I think this encouragement was pretty accurate.

Probably the thing that I struggle with the most is that, when I look around, I don’t see very many other rototillers. I see a lot of people planting, a lot of water hoses, people weeding, and people harvesting… but not many rototillers. This can make it seem like I’m not doing a good thing. But what God’s been showing me is that fields only need one rototiller and it should only be used in the right season. While it is absolutely necessary to break up the hard ground in the beginning of spring, it would be damaging and totally counterproductive to till the ground in the middle of the growing season.

So, here’s the conclusion I’ve come to today: I’m a feisty rototiller, it’s exactly what God made me to be, and that makes me glorious because God doesn’t make junk. God is taking my out of the box personality, throwing in some spiritual gifts, and creating the perfect piece of equipment for the job He has in mind. The coolest thing is, He wants to do the same for you too. Your personality “quirks”, when surrendered to Him, are just what He needs to use you for a special job you are specially equipped for. Think of it as being a tool, in a good way.

Now, my goal is to be the best little rototiller I can possibly be, doing my job well, in the right season, and the right field. (Who says I don’t know anything about gardening! Though it’s true, I don’t.)

What tool are you? 🙂



  1. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful - one of the best you ever wrote (in my, never to be humble, opinion)
    If you help me - we will take those boxes AND - if they are cardboard - flatten them out & send them off to recycling. And if they are wood - chop them up & burn them for fuel.