I was so excited about my Groupon purchase! The box had finally arrived. An oblong rectangle - at least 32" long. The outer cardboard box bore the address label and the word "FRAGILE." I began the process to open the package.
The cardboard box was sealed shut with heavy duty packing tape. I couldn't pry it apart myself so I had to use scissors to cut it open. Inside was yet another box. This was the product's packaging. It bore the clear plastic window to reveal what was inside just begging to be removed. Not before the end flaps had to be untaped and opened. Inside revealed a perfectly proportioned rectangle of stirofoam that had gained such friction when slid into its packaging that it seemed as if it was glued in place. This was going to require more effort than just a simple pull. This called for a wiggle, jiggle, pry and pull juggling act...until... FINALLY! The stirofoam was free and now the contents could be seen - almost touchable, but not quite. Yet another clear plastic covering, this one customized to fit snugly over the item, had to be removed.
Ta-dah! There it was. The brand new item I had purchased. It was finally able to be touched and seen now that it was "free" from all the packaging. Or so I thought. But one very anxious little boy still couldn't manage to get it out of the stirofoam casing. Flipping over the stirofoam revealed half a dozen twist ties that were still holding the contents firmly in place. I was beginning to wonder if we'd ever get to enjoy my Groupon purchase. (Can you just picture this?! A 4 year old jumping up and down, squealing with excitement, growing all-the-more impatient as the adult grows all-the-more frustrated?!)
And then finally - beneath the layers of card board and packing tape, custom-fitting stirofoam, protective plastic and secure twist-ties - the remote controlled helicopter was finally in my hands. It wasn't but 6" long. The remote was twice the size of this spy-copter, complete with an SD card and camera to capture its flight.
Then I realized. The "FRAGILE" warning was in fact correct. This tiny "toy" was made of what appeared to be delicate plastic. Certainly it was not intended for 4 year olds (maybe more like 40 year olds...this was later proved true when my dad - much older than 40 - remarked that he had the exact same helicopter. Really?!). It was obvious that a hard landing on concrete would destroy this tiny flyer. But it was meant to fly and that's what it was going to do.
I dare tell you I bear the same warning label: FRAGILE, written across the packaging of my heart. I warn you, too, it's safely protected beneath layers and walls that surround and keep harm at bay. It fits snugly in its protective case - but despite the external elements it may face, its meant to be used. Its meant to love and be loved. It's meant to be held. It longs to pour out that which overflows from deep within. It's meant to be revealed - the pain, the hurt, the fears, the failures. They all bear testimony of a redeeming, merciful, loving and gracious God.
Too often I run the risk of keeping it locked away, safe inside where I know it won't be damaged or destroyed. Too often I put it on display but still keep it safe behind a protective wall that begs, "You can look, but don't touch. Don't come too close, you may cause harm." I choose which parts to reveal and I don't let myself experience any part of giving or receiving. It's observation only. Still other times I hide it away not to be revealed at all. Off limits and out of commission. Running the risk of missing an opportunity to be blessed or be a blessing, but the safest way to ensure it won't get damaged.
Yet I know I was created for more. I know while I may be fragile, I wasn't meant to sit on a shelf. I run the risk of suffering hurt, heartache, damage, breaks, bruises, even being utterly destroyed and rendered useless. But I don't want to miss the journey. I want to capture that which He has created me for.
I come with the warning: FRAGILE. But I want to do what I was created to do. So today I'm taking the risk. I'm out of the box and ready for flight!