Within the box there is freedom, the only freedom – both in Juggling and in Christ. All you tend to hear, however, is platitudes about outside the box.
Within the physical constraints imposed by the patterns we learn and rehearse in juggling, we can express an almost unlimited freedom of creative expression. That expression would not be possible without the underpining of base technique that is ‘forgotten’ while creating. This is true both in individual, as well as group, juggling activities. Freedom of expression exists inside the box.
Pablo Picasso was quoted roughly as follows: To paint in the abstract one must first become a master of technique. Once that mastery is acquired, one must forget how to paint and just create. Forgetting how to paint does not entail never knowing. The initial discipline must be mastered first, or the real work is not possible.
With some writer’s licence, one could paraphrase the above and say that the currently popular (and mostly misunderstood or misrepresented) ‘thinking outside the box’ in essence requires a perfectly defined box in place all the time.
This is certainly the case for juggling, and in my opinion also for the Christian life.
In the Christian life, the more we master the basic of dependence upon our Lord and the Holy Spirit in all matters, the more complete is our effective freedom in life and in the development of our personal potential. He created and called us for the sole purpose of glorifying Him, so in our most complete development we do so most fully. This is accomplished within Him (ie. the box). Not only that, but while we are most completely “in Him”, our expressions of freedom and complete abandon can not do other than both please and glorify Him. We do not have to strive to do so, nor fret that we will not, for the more complete our surrender, the more impossible it is to do otherwise. As such, the fundamental goal is surrender. And this surrender is within the box, not outside it.
Furthermore, this surrender is not a passive, wimpy act. It is not some blissed out new age’y state of inactivity. It is the pro-active seeking to live in Him – actively. Immersion in Christ implies His persona, and that is not ambivalent to life.
As we seek Him in pro-active worship, immersion in His Word, and desire to please Him, we are absolutely secure in the box, a box that He designed and brought us into being to occupy. Therein is complete abandon and freedom of expression – the fullness of our potential.