Life is safer when we keep God in a box. Nothing can get lost. Nothing can get broken. Nothing can escape. Nothing can get in. Nothing can be threatened. Life is safer in boxes [see blog entry "Boxes (one)" for more reflections on our tendency to construct boxes].
There is nothing inherently wrong with the box we construct to contain God. As was said above, these boxes can indeed prove to be helpful. However, God has a nasty habit of working outside the walls that we have constructed. When this happens, we have a problem. We must either ignore God's activity, deny that it is God who is working or do the difficult work of figuring out how this new discovery works with our previous understanding of God. When the walls of our box are rigid, impermeable and impenetrable this inegrative work cannot be done, and we run the risk of allowing the box we have constructed to become an idol in and of itself.
Therefore, even though it is safer to keep God in a box (and we all do), the walls of the box must be pliable, permeable and penetrable. The prophet Isaiah writes, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:8-9, NRSV). There is no way to contain the divine or what God might be doing or about to do.
The questions are...
How BIG are we willing to allow our understanding of God to be?
Can we contruct our boxes with walls that are pliable, permeable and penetrable?
God is more...