The Contents of the Envelope

I had a little surprise. At each plate at the annual Chamber of Commerce banquet some years ago was an unlabeled white envelope 7” square. When I pulled out what was inside it suddenly popped into a three-dimensional object. It startled me!

It is a multi-sided object advertising Texas A&M University-Commerce. Not only is it a calendar for the current year, but it also shows the continents of the earth like a globe, only not round. The sides are in the shape of twelve trapezoids with a hexagon at the top and bottom.

What makes it pop into place is a rubber band inside. When the calendar is pulled out of the envelope, the tightly-stretched rubber band draws the opposite sides together to form the three-dimensional “world.”

This geometrical curiosity is much less likely than a traditional calendar to be tossed out in the trash. It’s a keeper—I like it!

And yet for all its cleverness it is still only a dim reflection of the real thing. The calendar is not time, of course, but only a measurement of the passing days. The map is not the world but a mere depiction of vast oceans and land masses.

The tug within provided by the rubber band is a little like the gravitational forces and other dynamics God has placed in motion in the universe, holding it all together.

Really, this little calendar/globe/ad is not a keeper for long. Made of light materials it cannot last, especially if I play with it very much. Time too will come to an end someday, and so will the world (2 Peter 3).

But that’s all right. What God has in store for us is infinitely better than the best this world has to offer. That’s why He doesn’t want us to get too attached to the things we display on our shelves or store in our safe deposit boxes. There are treasures to be had far grander than these!

When we finally see what He “pulls out of the envelope” for us someday, we’ll be startled with joy! Even though His word prepares us to anticipate something too wonderful for words, it will be far more breathtaking than anything we can possibly imagine.