The Magical Box

Growing up, my mom’s closet was full of boxes—orange & apple boxes, falling apart boxes…and a magical box.  The magical box didn’t look special, except that it had circulation holes in it (I think it had once been an orange box).  It was filled with old, unwanted toys my mom had grabbed from our rooms.

Amazingly, after a month or two in that box, all those stashed away junk toys became the objects of our desire.  Magic!

I remember sneaking peeks with my brothers and sisters to see feet, eyes, wheels or fur of some toy through the holes of that charmed box.  We’d sigh as we glimpsed those ‘treasures’ and wish we could get them out to play with again.

Time passed and those boxed-up toys became our obsession.  We would beg Mom to please, please, PLEASE get those amazing toys out of that box.  Life would not be fun until we could play with them…like in the good old days.

When she would finally relent, after weeks or months of pestering, the day would take on a “Christmas-like” state.  We kids would take each toy out in wonder, our eyes lighting up as we oohed and ahhed.  Life was perfect!  We had the best toys in the world, and didn’t even notice Mom nonchalantly picking up the now ‘unwanted’ toys we’d cast aside.

She filled up the box again and stashed it back into her crowded closet…and the magic would begin once more.  Time in the mystical orange box would change those toys’ status from “unwanted” to “favorite.”  It never failed.

Thinking of that box now, I realize that the most precious things that surround us and make up our life can easily be overlooked and taken for granted if we’re not careful–just like I did with toys as a child.  It’s human nature.

Spouses, family members, jobs, talents, abilities, our own bodies can be brushed over as nonessential or unimportant as we wish and obsess over what we DON’T or CAN’T have.  That’s why so many marriages fall apart, why so many families crumble and disintegrate.  That’s why there are so many unhappy people in the world who are wishing for the NEXT thing to make them truly happy.

What the lesson of the MAGICAL BOX teaches me is that things that might seem unimportant today—if TAKEN away—might become the most important things ever…things we yearn for once they’re gone.

What would happen if your annoying chatterbox child was suddenly taken from you in a horrible car crash?  Or what if your spouse who ticked you off with a thoughtless remark was suddenly dying of cancer?  Or you lose your eyesight, or can’t sleep anymore?  There are millions of scenarios.  Hopefully we don’t have to lose something important in our life to realize what we already had.

Blessings surround all of us—even the homeless man wandering the street.  We just have to have eyes and hearts to see them.  We don’t need a magical box to put our possessions in to regain value.  The value is already there.  Take a minute or so each day to REMEMBER everything you already have…and the magic will happen.

Char

14 thoughts on “The Magical Box

  1. Whenever a negative thought comes my way, usually in relation to something I have to do but don’t want to, I remind myself how lucky I am that I CAN do it–no health issues, no political oppression, no homelessness, etc. In remembering everything I have, it makes it difficult to bemoan the little things.

    • We all get caught up in the grind of life sometimes. But when we have quiet moments, it’s amazing to think of ALL we really do have. We are RICH!

  2. I needed this thought today! Thanks for the needed reminder to be grateful for what I have instead of what’s been taken away. I love you, Sis!

    • I don’t do this with my own children actually. I’m not too much of a keeper (I forget which box I stored them away if I do), so my kids usually played with toys until they were trashed, or I gave toys away to thrift stores when we cleaned things out they didn’t play with anymore. I have a few boxes of toys out in my garage that I especially loved and wished I had as a child (I kept those for future grandkids–and they are in a clear box so I don’t forget where they are)

  3. So true my dear so true… whenever i get ticked off, i ask myself, “Is this a life or death issue?” more often than not, the answer is, “No, not life or death.” Then i suck in my breath & my pride and move on…
    That magic box trick is actually now recommended in some parenting book… hehehhee… you should be proud of your mother, she was ahead of the “experts”…
    We do the charity box with my son – he likes doing it now…

    • Wow, I didn’t know my mom was ahead of the times. I’ll have to tell her. What’s the charity box? Do you give old toys to charity…or is it something different?

      • We do a toys clear-out twice a year… i save them all in a big box (only the ones which are complete & still in good condition) which we pack up & take to the Swiss Post Office for what is called 2nd Christmas (this runs for 2 weeks after Christmas). The Post Office forwards the box to charities which need them… i also put in a couple of new toys & some new clothes so that it is not all “old” stuff. Our church also used to collect for one of the orphanages in Romania but stopped since the church member who was bringing the stuff over no longer goes there. After reading about Reece’s Rainbow, i’m wondering if there is a way to restart this… am still praying for little Heath…

  4. The Magical Box is truly magical! I did that with my own kids, and now I do it with my grandson. It is a joy to watch their eyes light up when that box opens up. Very good lesson here on what matters in life, and what does not – much food for thought here.

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