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Little boxes that all look just the same


A few years ago I took two of my graddaughters to see the movie "Box Trolls" when it first came out.

They enjoyed it and I thought it was cute. Then, as the credits were rolling at the end of the movie, they played a song that was recorded by Malvina Reynolds in 1962, and made famous by protest singer Pete Seeger.

According to Wikipedia, the song is a political satire about the development of suburbia and associated conformist middle-class attitudes. It refers to suburban tract housing as "little boxes" of different colors "all made out of ticky-tacky” and which "all look just the same." "Ticky-tacky" is a reference to the shoddy material used in the construction of the housing referenced in the song.

Malvina and her husband were on their way from where they lived in Berkeley, through San Francisco and down the peninsula to La Honda where she was to sing at a meeting. As she drove through Daly City, she said “Bud, take the wheel. I feel a song coming on.” Now the song that Malvina wrote that day and later recorded was during the 60s when lots of protests were going on about a number of issues and Berkley, California was sort of an epicenter of such protests

 I think the song speaks volumes to those of us in leadership in Christ’s body.

Here are the words: you can listen to the song on itunes.

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky tacky,
Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes all the same.
There's a green one and a pink one 
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And the people in the houses
All went to the university,
Where they were put in boxes
And they came out all the same,
And there's doctors and lawyers,
And business executives,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

And they all play on the golf course
And drink their martinis dry,
And they all have pretty children
And the children go to school,
And the children go to summer camp
And then to the university,
Where they are put in boxes
And they come out all the same.

And the boys go into business
And marry and raise a family
In boxes made of ticky tacky 
And they all look just the same.
There's a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one,
And they're all made out of ticky tacky
And they all look just the same.

It seems that there is a lot of uniformity today among Christian leaders today. We follow the same well-known speakers, attend their conferences, read their books and go to their blog sites to read what the latest and greatest ideas are.

 We are in danger of not being in the least original in our thinking and our ideas. We don’t wrestle with the Lord as we should to hear from him, but just see what the church across town or across the country is doing and try to make it work in our area. I read (don’t remember who first said it) that we are all born originals but die carbon copies. It’s really sad. We are fearful to try new things, to step out in new directions or do something that has never been tried or done before. As the song says, “they all look just the same.” We are all beginning to look the same!

The fact is that the Bible clearly teaches that we are not all the same. Each of us is as different as every snowflake, finger print or DNA is different. God did it on purpose so we could be a body with distinctly different parts. (I Corinthians 12, Romans 12 and Ephesians 4)

May I just simply encourage you to be yourself?  Why? Because everyone else is taken! If God had wanted you to be somebody else he would have made you somebody else. Enjoy your uniqueness to  the glory of God!



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