Lying on my bunk in the back corner of the cabin, I look across the room at the cooking area. It’s hard to call it a kitchen because it’s basically just some 2x6s serving as counters set atop a 2×4 framed base—no doors, no shelves. On the counter top there are a 3-burner cook stove, a cutting board, a work area, and the dishpans. Though it’s small and simple, in tandem with the outdoor fire ring, this kitchen turns out some mighty delicious meals enjoyed by anyone lucky enough to be around camp at mealtime. Blueberry pancake breakfasts with steaming cowboy coffee are a specialty.
Lowering my gaze just a bit, I see the 10 gray Rubbermaid tubs that serve as our kitchen cabinets. In constructing the kitchen, we could have gone fancy and salvaged real kitchen cabinets from somewhere, but the tubs offer many advantages especially considering sometimes our visits to the cabin are spaced out by up to a year. In these tubs, the contents are pretty much sealed away from marauding vermin, even insects. And it sure saves on the dust collecting on the canned goods, pots, pans, plates and silverware between uses, too. I hate knit-picky dusting and scrubbing of all that stuff!
Every time I look upon these tubs, I smile and say out loud, “God bless my wife!”
The tubs bear a definitive mark of her existence and wonderfulness. They remind me how blessed I am to have someone like her who puts up with someone like me.
Carefully positioned at the center of the end of each tub is a large, white adhesive label bearing supremely legible, block printing in permanent black ink precisely stating the contents of each vessel. The labels read: “Canned Goods;” “Dry Goods;” “Pots & Pans;” “Reserve Water;” “Plates & Dishes;” “Silverware: Real & Plastic; Paper Plates,” “Bags & Towels;” “Towels & Linens;” “Cooking Utensils;” and “Lighting, Cleaning Supplies, Misc.”
Under the bunks and on the storage shelves are more labeled containers.
Especially since all of the tubs are identical as to stack nicely and look good in the space allocated to them, these concise labels are a huge time saver. Without them, we’d have to likely look through umpteen tubs to find the right stuff to cook dinner, set the table, or replace the mantel in a gas lantern. Added up, that would result in seriously wasted hunting time or, even worse, porch sitting time!
Lying here alone in the cabin, contemplating the Lord’s incredible wisdom in selecting the perfect partner for my life, I drift into thought about the way I view my relationship with Him. Too often I try to stuff him into a perfectly labeled tub for the sake of efficiency and convenience. Just as it is for so many folks, that tub for me would be most accurately labeled, “Sunday Morning” or “Open Only When Convenient or Comfortable.”
As I think this through, it seems there’s no way to put God in a tub, and it’s a big mistake to try. Instead, God is actually the container which has a perfectly labeled place for each of us. It’s bigger than the tubs. It’s bigger than my cabin. It’s bigger than the mountain or the world. His container for us is the universe that includes Heaven.
The Bible says in Mathew 22:36-38: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.”
In his way of cutting to the heart of these things, C.S. Lewis said “Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.”
In a few minutes, when I get up from this bunk and dig into those tubs to start on my supper, I’m going to try to do it with a renewed wariness against compartmentalizing God. At the end of this weekend, when I have to get in the truck and head back to the real world, I’m going to try to do it with a remembrance that I’m in the Lord’s tub labeled, “Loved & Saved.” And more importantly, I’m going to try to pray, act, and live like it!