Thinking About the Box

Boxes serve a good purpose, and are used for good reasons. They contain, and they protect. We can even think of the boundaries God has set for us, and that we need to set for our children, as boxes. They are intended to keep us from harming ourselves, or others.

On the other hand, boxes can restrain and hold us back. Thus we are often told to think outside the box.

Sometimes, however, we just need to think about the box. Something I failed to do last Thursday.

On Thursday evenings I go to the gun range, and shoot competitively. Chuck, Jamie, my brother-in-law Frank, and I usually shoot together, and then head to the café for some food, guy time, and gun talk. Last week I really gave them something to talk about. In fact, even before I got there, they told the waitress to ask me about the box.

The stage that we were shooting required that we shoot from three areas marked on the floor called boxes. Two of them were small, and the long one in the middle had a couple of barrels in it we had to shoot around. After I shot the first time, the range officer pointed to my feet. I had failed to step into the middle box.

The stage called for 22 shots, and if all hits were in the A zone, you could earn 110 points. I had shot 12 times outside the box, and therefore received 12 ten point procedural penalties. 120 points were deducted from my score. You can do the math.

The second time I shot, I remembered the box. I would have done okay, if my pistol hadn’t jammed.

When I later shot my carbine, I did great. I only missed one A, and it was on the swinging target. Then I heard the groaning and laughter. I had once again failed to step into the box.

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, I guess it’s that it’s easy to forget to think about the box. And not only do we need to remember it, we need to remember why it’s there. So next time someone tells you to think outside the box, or you are considering stepping outside the box, just make sure you think first.

God Bless, Rick

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