The Out of the Box Thinker

 The Out of the Box Thinker

When people challenge one another to become thinkers that operate outside of the box, mighty things can happen.  Out of the box thinking is in direct contrast to what society dictates.  It says that one’s trust is not with the norms of a society that limits the achievement level based on what one looks like or what ethnic group, neighborhood, family, or subculture they wear.

Why is the Box so captivating and so safe for those in society?  Could it be that we are like infants who love to inhabit the safety of the crib, so that as long as we are allowed to play with our toys that occupy our time and lives that no one else is able to penetrate?  Our toys are the familiar.  Just as those relationships, hobbies, idiosyncrasies and groups of people that we find comfort in.

Toys are fun until we get bored with them to the point of aggravation and resentment.  An Infant will one day desire to venture out of the comfortable surroundings and even sometimes indulge into the annoying adventures of danger that they find themselves getting into in the process.

Growth comes from the journey of the adventure when one begins to explore and attempt things that involve no guarantee of ultimate success.  Even if success is not achieved, the success is noted by the mere attempt to try it, whatever “it” may be.  For that growing toddler the first bump on the head is remembered and is cause for the escape back into comfortable surroundings or more efforts in attempting to accomplish the goal successfully in the face of the memories of pain.

Jabez cried out to the God of Israel,

“Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!”  1Cronicles 4:10 (New International Version)

When we speak of enlarging territory, this can be inclusive of those who do not see through the same lens as we do.  This may even include people who have wronged us personally or they may be of an ethnic group that awakens painful memories of mistreatment by certain individuals of that group.  We are talking about reality not piety.

Our territory is just as large as our dreams.  Joseph had a dream and though it was many years in the making until he achieved his dream he never allowed the bumps on his head of; sibling jealousy/ betrayal, slavery, false accusation/character assassination, imprisonment and ultimately overcoming his own natural thirst for revenge toward his brother’s deter him from his dream.

It is not natural to journey into the realm the unknown with our own souls bruised and just be able to get over it.  It is the Out of the Box thinker that will not be limited to the past hurts and present or future fears of more of them. The Bible says:

“Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted.  Stay wide-awake in prayer. Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it.  Love makes up for everything and covers all things.  Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless—cheerfully.  Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it– if words, let it be God’s words– if help, let it be God’s hearty help.  That way, God’s bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he’ll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything—encores to the end of time. Oh, yes! “   1 Peter 4: 7-11 (The Message-MSG)

 

“The love of God makes up for everything.”  This is the mentality of the Out of the Box Thinker because they have an eternal view of things.

The Marketplace of Ideas is not a place to shy away from in a highly secularized world but is a place we should embrace.  For it was Christ’s’ (the ultimate Out of the Box Thinker’s) desire to not take the believers out of the world but rather to show them to the world as a unified body of people who are unique in their diversity.  This new people had the truth, the love and power of God to back it up.  (John 17:17-23)

In the 17th chapter of Acts atAthens i.e., the Marketplace of Ideas, Paul did not shy away, but embraced this marketplace and used contextualization i.e.  (the Alter to the unknown God) – 17:23 to convey the truth because he also was an Out of the Box Thinker and he navigates us through the Marketplace of Ideas in God’s Word.

“Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever.  I didn’t take on their way of life.  I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view.  I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life.  I did all this because of the Message.  I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!”  1 Corinthians 9:19-27 (The Message-MSG)

In the multi ethnic/multi cultural world in which we live today in America is much like the world of Paul’s day and the Marketplace of Ideals is God’s marketplace.  All God needs in the 21st Century are some Out of the Box Thinkers.   

 

Kevin K. Robinson Executive Director of Accord1

September 11, 2011

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