Thinking Inside the Box By Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

“One thing no one ever talks about when it comes to being an adult is how much time we debate keeping a cardboard box because it’s, you know…a really good box.”

I don’t know who said that, but that person must have been eavesdropping yesterday morning when Dave and I “straightened up” our garage, an activity I always dread because it has the potential to drastically change my mood.  Especially when Dave points to my stash of cardboard boxes, resting harmlessly—yet potentially useful—on a high shelf that requires a ladder to reach.  I know what you’re thinking: “Gee, Dave, it’s not like she has them stuffed in your car or anything.”                                                                                                                                      I appreciate your support.                                                                                                                  For the most part, I’m Dave’s gopher on these sorts of tasks.  I go for his tools or help him lift something heavy or remind him to drink water or hold the dolly or measuring tape or whatever it takes to serve my man.  I say very little because this is his domain, except of course when he attacks my boxes. My words never change: “Dave, one never knows when one might need a microwave box or a thimble box or anything in between.”                                                                         Dave’s response makes no sense.  “So, shouldn’t those boxes have a shelf life of three or four years and then be thrown out?”  Really!  If you are a forward thinker like I am, you can predict what will happen.  The day after I leave my boxes for the trash man, some emergency will arise and I will need what I just tossed.  I’m not sure what that emergency might be, but it surely could happen.  One needs to be prepared.                                                                              I am a preparer. Probably to a fault. If leaving for a trip, I pack days ahead of time.  That way, I can change my mind numerous times and still manage to get where I’m going without something I need.  I make food items as far ahead as I can, meaning I will make only two trips to the grocery store the day that meal is scheduled.  If my Zoom Bible study leader gives a homework assignment due in a week, I am ready to go days before we meet. I will have forgotten half of what I’ve learned, but, by golly, I can raise my hand when asked if we read the assignment.  I’m never late. If I’m late, I’m probably dead.                                                                          Still, I sort of admire people who fly by the seat of their pants.  They have less angst than I, as they don’t get uptight about last-minute preparations. “What if” is not in their vocabulary, whereas it is my mantra.  Because of that, you would think that I would be ultra-prepared to meet my Maker.  Luke 21:36 should be a scripture I never would forget: Be alert at all times. Pray so that you have the power to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand in front of the Son of Man.                                                                                                                                          I need to be confident that when it’s time to go Home, I will have done everything necessary to be assured of spending eternity with Jesus. I will end well.  Feeding the poor.  Praying.  Writing an encouraging note.  Praying.  Running an errand for an invalid.  Praying.  Maybe even taking all my boxes to the trash can, just to please my husband.                         Naah, not that last one.                                                                                                                 Benjamin Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”  Next time Dave suggests I part with my stockpile of boxes, I plan to tell him that.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

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