Pandora’s Box or Alabaster Jar?

What would happen if you declared your wants? What would happen if you let yourself line up with your true calling and purpose? (Elora Ramirez)

That statement got me to wondering. What would happen if I gave voice to my wants? Would releasing them be akin to opening the lid on Pandora’s Box, or would it more closely resemble pouring the contents from an Alabaster Jar?

Perhaps it all stems from the desire behind the opening. The reason for the wanting that stirs within my all-too-often restless heart, pacing the lengths of its confines, hoping to one day be released to explore freely. Yet terrified with the very thought of freedom. So used to the cage it calls home; so comfortable in its captivity.

What would be the consequences of pouring out the wants of my heart? What would compel me to do so?

Is it merely a curiosity like Pandora’s that moves me to lift the lid? Or is there more at stake?

pandora According to Greek mythology, when Pandora’s Box was opened, evil hastened to escape while hope hesitated. Buried beneath the weight of the awful, hope remained at the bottom of the box. Too slow to flee its confines. Or perhaps so used to bearing the weight of darkness it forgot how to spread its wings into flight when the crushing heaviness was lifted. Regardless, in her hurry to restrain the evil unleashed, Pandora closed the lid. And effectively closed off hope.

I can’t help but wonder if perhaps I don’t do the same thing with the desires and purposes God has placed within me. Oh, sometimes I may be just curious enough to crack the lid, but when what first escapes appears as the ugly painfuls, I panic. In my anxiousness to stem the flow of hurt, I slam the lid on what I have determined must certainly be contents of only selfish wants and unholy desires threatening to swallow me whole. Much the same as Pandora, I also effectively imprison the presence of hope, separating it from my life.

Separating it from the world around me.

Because I have forgotten about faith in God.

I have forgotten about the treasure He has buried within me. That precious, little gem called hope.

What would happen if I trusted God’s love enough to overcome any wrong desires I may have? What if I believed He had given me something of value that needs to be emptied into this world? Something pure? Something begging to be unleashed not merely from a piqued curiosity, but from a heart overwhelmed with gratitude?

What if the container I hold in my hands is not the dreaded Pandora’s Box of evil that I fear, but a beautiful Alabaster Jar waiting to release His glory?

Unfortunately, the common denominator of opening either Pandora’s Box or the Alabaster Jar tends to be what stays my hand from lifting the lid — the judgment that is sure to be companion to them both. Am I willing to risk the exposure? The pointing of fingers? The criticism? The misunderstandings? The taunts and ridicules that are certain to come?

And let’s not forget about the breaking itself. That cracking open of a seal that has been fused tightly for years. The shattering of all that holds and keeps my carefully constrained composure intact. Not to mention the tears which will most likely accompany this breaking as waves of regret, conviction, pain — and yes, perhaps even a bit of hope — wash over me.

Am I really willing to approach Jesus with whatever happens to be released in my moment of raw?

Am I willing to trust Him with me when I’m exposed and vulnerable to everyone?

Once the seal is broken, there’s no turning back. Once the lid is lifted, there’s no stifling the outpouring. Whether a sweet aroma or a rotting stench, there’s no stopping the fragrance from escaping… or from affecting those present.

What will it take for me to brave declaring those wants edging me toward my true purpose? To trust that there is a sweetness behind the longings, and not just the uglies of selfishness?

MaryBeth-FinalWhat will ultimately compel me to lift the lid and trust Him for the glory to be revealed, even if it has to first conquer the makings of a Pandora’s Box in me?

Will I hold out for the hope that lingers deep?

Or will I sit with hands clenching lid tightly closed, forever confining the beauty that could be?

Forfeiting the grace that could be mine…

Forfeiting the glory that could be His…

alabaster-jarWhat would happen if you let yourself line up with your true calling and purpose?

© 2013


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