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Living Outside the Box

“Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

               — Acts 10: 15

Whether any of us like to admit it or not, we all live inside a box. We surround ourselves with things that are familiar and comfortable, eventually even convincing ourselves that certain aspects of our lives are so ‘set’ we would never be comfortable trying anything different. But, God did not intend us to live life in a prescribed box; He wants us to experience new things and approach them without preconceived notions.

Acts 10 describes this very desire of God. When Simon Peter was visiting Joppa, he became extremely hungry and fell into a trance during which he had a vision. This revelation included a variety of animals, birds, and reptiles – all sorts of animals that were considered unclean according to Jewish culture. When Peter was given the command to hunt and eat, he immediately scoffed at the request. The box in which he lived required him to eat only ‘clean and pure’ food; surely he could not eat anything else. But, God had a different idea. He chastised Peter reminding him that nothing God created could ever be considered impure or unclean. Shortly after that vision, Peter was taken to visit Cornelius, a Gentile from a nearby village. At this time, it was illegal and unclean for a Jew to visit the home of a Gentile. But Peter remembered God’s command that nothing He created, person or animal, could be unclean. Peter’s box changed greatly that day.

We have to learn to live outside out comfort zone occasionally. There is so much we can experience and learn, so many people we can meet, so many new things to try if only we are willing to live outside the box we have placed ourselves in.

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