My brother-in-law is a great guy and he spends all day every working day looking at, dealing with, and thinking about cardboard. I know how you feel after reading that: wow...how...interesting? But really he does have a pretty cool job because, as it turns out, cardboard is pretty amazing stuff.
Right off the bat we think about how it is mostly used to make boxes to ship things, and how most of those boxes go right into the trash when we are through with them. In all reality though, cardboard is a very useful medium, for a wide variety of purposes:
- Cardboard as children’s toy - For the last 7 years unquestionably the most popular Christmas gift has been the boxes the children’s toys came in. The bigger the box the better. Those boxes were transformed by imagination into forts, hiding places, dog houses, castles, and much more. We have even kept the boxes, repeatedly repairing them with duct tape, for months and months until gratefully, a friend’s child accidentally tears it beyond repair. The box is so popular that I often wonder why we bother to buy toys anyway?
- Cardboard as work of art - For a year a full sized cardboard deer head hung in my small office never failing to draw comments from visitors. I constantly had to turn down offers to buy it because it was so unusual and just well... cool! This Christmas we built similar 3D cardboard flies which have received similar reactions, but as you can see we have more than one so I am taking bids...
- Cardboard as House of God- In February of 2011 a 6.3-magnitude earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, destroyed the ChristChurch Cathedral. The landmark building had served as a centerpiece for the city since 1864. Of course rebuilding a structure of such prominence takes time and great expense, and since it was a working church they needed a place to meet for worship while the rebuilding took place. The answer they found came from Japanese architect Shigeru Ban who proposed a plan to build a 700-person-capacity cardboard cathedral to serve as a temporary replacement. It is a truly amazing project that has garnered attention world wide for it’s combination of cost effectiveness and practical beauty. You can read more about it here.
Who knew cardboard had so many uses? These 3 examples just scratch the surface of what can be done. If you would have told me that someone would build a 3.4 million dollar cardboard church, and that it would be beautiful, I would have told you you were crazy! But then again, I hadn’t opened my eyes to the myriad of uses for cardboard.
Sometimes we do that to ourselves or other people. We see only what we see on the surface and miss the amazing potentials that exist within. We have to see ourselves and the other people in our lives in an honest fashion. We are not ordinary in any way. Each of us exist as no small miracle. In the book of Psalms the Psalmist writes:
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” -Psalm 139:13-14
Avid readers of the Bible read v13 and connect with being fearfully and wonderfully made, but how many of us miss that last part in v14 that “your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” God says that you and I, all of us, were built specifically, purposefully, wonderfully. But so many times what we see isn’t wonderful and is maybe is just something more than trash. That isn’t who God says we are. God says you, your kids, your co-workers, and even that weird cousin from California is wonderful. Full of ability, wonders, talents and of immeasurable worth.
The familiar if not too familiar passage, John 3:16 states clearly that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God sees all of us as being worth the unthinkable price, the life of his own son.
I personally have struggled with this in the past, thinking that there was no way I could ever be good enough to be worthy of that kind of love. But the truth is this, God loves us warts and all. It’s not about our perfection but instead, it’s about the power of his love:
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
If you would like to know about this love and to experience it yourself all you have to do is this:
- Talk to God just as if you were talking to a friend.
- Trust & believe in Him with all your being.
- Turn your life in His direction and follow him as you live every day of your life.
If you want to get to know God and to discover more about his plan, you need to attend a church. I would love to answer any questions you might have about this so please feel free to contact me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org