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A box of tricks

The Box with Ten Thousand Uses is just an expression, but English translation somehow reveals an abundance of possibilities.

We could think of 10,000 uses for such a box. Even thinking about a few hundred would get our imaginations working. Don’t restrict yourself to transport or storage—that is too obvious. How about packing gold, myrrh and frankincense for a trip to Bethlehem?

How about storing the photographs of your wedding? Once we begin thinking abundantly, we open up all kinds of possibilities.

Each gospel reading can be like that. We hear the gospel read over and over again, and perhaps we just hear it in a routine way. Yet we can break out of the routine with our imagination.

Today’s gospel uses the beauty that God has bestowed upon nature and the care he takes of it to assure us that he will take even greater care of us.

Can you imagine yourself as a bird? Flying off and picking up as much as you need to eat.

And then, imagine you are a flower, growing from the tiniest of buds and gradually becoming a work of beauty. Some of us have vivid imaginations and it is easy to enter the richness of the gospel image. For others, our imaginations are less used, and we have to use our intellects more.

Jesus tells us repeatedly that God will care for us. It is not God’s plan for us to be neglected.

So we can bring our imaginations into play once more, to help us to imagine the care that we can enjoy.

Imagine yourself as a bush with 10,000 flowers and try to think abundantly, without any restrictions. How beautiful you would be.

We meet many wonderful people in our lives.

Maybe each can be likened to a flower or a bird, whose very presence is a gift of great value.

If we think of ourselves as the Box with Ten Thousand Uses we open the possibility of abundance—even beyond 10,000!

Often it only takes a simple gesture to cheer someone up, encourage or comfort them.

If we cannot do this alone, perhaps we can try it with a few friends. Sometimes our friends can see much more good in what we do than we can see in ourselves.

Often we are hobbled by poor self-image or trapped by past failures, but our friends can see the good in us beyond these limitations.

We can ask the Holy Spirit, the source of all wisdom and light, to guide our minds and our imaginations. We can ask the Holy Spirit to bring love and life and laughter to our thoughts.

The Box with Ten Thousand Uses is really a wonderful name for an ordinary cardboard box.


But, unlike the box, we are not ordinary—we are special in the sight of God. We are the Sky with Ten Thousand Birds. So enjoy being the abundance which God plans for you!