One of my favorite Berenstain Bears books is the one that tells the story of how Little Bear gets inside a box, gets loaded onto a truck outside, and eventually gets turned upside down.  When Little Bear’s mother finds him at the end of the story, he happily announces, “Mama, mama, I was inside a box, outside, upside down!”  He sees it all as a great adventure.

Getting inside a box is the easy part.  In fact, most of the time you don’t even have to be invited, you just jump in.  Whether your boxes are the places where you work or where you create your daily routines, or the ones that occupy your mind, you are comfortable there and enjoy the ride, at least for a while.

Then one day life demands you get “outside” the box.  Of course, that means the old way of looking at things or of solving problems is no longer working. It means you have to become more creative, more resourceful, maybe even more playful.  That’s a good thing.  However, when you get outside the box you may see that some things are upside down. In fact, they may even be broken.  You have to figure out how to turn them right side up again.

This is a message of faith.  Can you get inside a box in your faith?  Can you get outside your comfort zone?  Upside down even?  Faith isn’t static and often, it’s not really comfortable.  In fact, if your world isn’t rocking a little like the boat of the fishermen who feared they would drown in the storm while Jesus slept peacefully, then it may be time to ask why not.  All your seas don’t have to be stormy, but committed faith often shakes things up a little.

You may even find yourself outside your comfort zone.  But, that’s the beautiful, enriching, dynamic thing about faith.  It’s touching and turbulent, sweet and spicy, smooth and shaky and it causes you to keep looking for more of what God would have you know.

It’s not a painting on the wall that never changes.  It’s not a hurricane that sweeps in and devastates everything in its path. It’s a vehicle for change meant to keep you awake to life.  It’s how you discover that it’s okay when things get shaky because calm will follow the storm again.

The world outside invites you to see it, dance in it, and react to it. It lifts you up and changes your point of view. When it all goes upside down and you’re holding on for dear life, like the frightened sailors in the boat, you can go directly to Jesus and ask for His gift of peace.

Boxes can be protective, maybe even bring a level of comfort, but they aren’t places to grow.  Growth calls you to step outside the box and be willing to turn life upside down to find a more fulfilling place.  When you do that, you’re on the ride of a lifetime, the absolute adventure seeker’s thrill.  Maybe at the end of the ride, you can jump out and shout, “Papa, Papa, I had a thrilling adventure. Thank You for turning everything right side up!”