THE OPEN JAR
(Trussville, AL USA)
Another Weird Dream
Well, students, we've had a very productive week, would you not agree? We have surely learned a lot from our math formulas. Now for your weekend homework assignment. This one will be fun to work out.
See this glass jar of jellybeans. I want you to guess the number of beans in the jar by using the proper math equation. So as you leave class today, you may handle the jar. You may measure its circumference, its boundary or the perimeter of the jar. You may attempt to count the rows of beans, you may measure a single bean, etc. Obviously, you may not open the jar.
As a hint, the internet has a number of good formulas respecting this homework project.
One last thought. Could the jar hold more beans, if the top lid was removed? We will also be discussing this theory next week. So good luck, students.
On second thought, was I too hard on these students? I don't think so. They are all very smart students and I know they will put on their thinking caps. So I'll just go home and relax over the weekend, as I surely need the rest. My brain has been in overdrive here lately. No math thinking for me. No writing of assignments or anything like that. I don't even want to drive by a schoolhouse over the weekend. Just let me sip down my warm milk and crunch my cookie and hopefully get some sound sleep. And fall sleep I did, quickly.
All of a sudden, I found myself in a rather large university lecture hall. Looking around, the room was almost completely filled with students. What was so unusual, they were all dressed alike and instead of the traditionally embroidered school sweater logos, all the students had a rather large question mark on their sweaters. How unusual, I surmised.
Then the classroom suddenly got deathly silent, as someone who apparently was the lecturer or professor, approached the front of the class and stood directly in front of the chalkboard. Taking a piece of chalk, he drew a large jar on the chalkboard. He then asked a rather unique question.
"Class, can a container be limited to its contents?" There was no response.
"OK Class, in parallel, can that which is finite contain that which is infinite?" Again, no response.
Not receiving a response was as plain as the nose on my face. That's what all the strange sweater question marks were about. They either did not know much of anything, or maybe the sweaters were some sort of sorority.
Nonetheless, having received no response, I could obviously read the disgust on this professor's face. I felt somewhat sorry for him, even though I didn't know him. Nor, did I know exactly how I had gotten into this room. So I raised my hand, which seemed to instantly change the professor's expression.
"Teacher, I think I can answer your question, if you will just let me approach the chalkboard," I said. With a positive nod from the professor, I proceeded to the front.
As I theoretically removed the jar lid by erasing it from the top of the jar, the professor showed a big appreciative grin. My maneuver then prompted a big thank you, from the professor, as if he knew where I was going with this theory of mine.
"Go on," the professor continued. "You got the idea."
So I continued. "You see, class, a closed jar is limited to its contents. A closed jar can never contain anything larger than its actual size. However, by removing its lid, a jar's contents become unlimited, as the jar becomes an open vessel."
"An open jar has no limitations. It can now hold the air, hold the rain, or hold the smell of unlimited roses. I suppose you all get my drift here," I concluded.
Then, as if getting a second wind, the professor then asked another question. "OK, Class, which is larger, that which you contain, or that which you don't contain? In other words, which is larger, that which you know or that which you don't know?"
Wow, what a surprise! Instantly, the students not only raised their hands but wildly waved them in the air in unity. Then they all shouted in one accord, "That which we don't know!"
The students' encouragement then prompted me to scan the room. What I saw was nothing short of amazing. All the question marks had been removed from the students' sweaters.
Responding to the students, the professor raised a thought-provoking premise. "So it's only wise that you students seek that which you don't know. How is this accomplished?" the professor asked.
"Teacher, teacher, may I answer this?" I reacted. Again, the professor gave an affirmative nod.
"This can only be accomplished by opening yourself up. In other words, only by becoming an open vessel, similar to what the hypothetical jar on the board showed when the top was erased."
"In other words, your mind is a finite vessel, but God's truth has no end. Our eternal God is infinite. And in parallel to the chalkboard jar, when our lives are open, we can contain the unlimited love of God."
"So students, are you willing to open your minds, your hearts and your lives to that which you don't know, our unseen living holy God?" (Jeremiah 33:3)
Again, all hands were raised.
And with that short speech, I suddenly woke up, my mission apparently having been accomplished. So what now?
As if by divine direction, looking over at my nightstand, I happened to observe a Bible. Not just any Bible, but my dear saintly Mom's Bible, which was open to a hand-written note close to a certain Scripture passage (Ephesians 3:19). This note read, "Filled Up with the Unlimited Fullness."
The note just blew my mind. "I know, I'll go visit Mom's pastor, I just know he'll have an answer."
And he did. His clarification was, "My son, we all feel that you are now ready if willing, to accept God's heavenly invitation to move forward to a higher place of living with God. It's a place where you can experience a far greater degree of unlimited fullness with God."
"Your Mom felt it was time, my son, and no more waiting. You see, your Mom, before she went on to be with her heavenly Father, had a sense that your teaching was getting to you, and you just needed a new touch of God's grace. God has been preparing you for this move. In other words, just like your dream of the glass jar, only by becoming an open vessel can you contain that which is greater than yourself."
Your mind and heart are simply finite closed jars, waiting to be opened to new heights with God. You see God has no end, as He is infinity. So will you not now open your mind, (Jeremiah 33:3) so that it may contain the infinity of God?" (II Cor. 4:7)
Yes! Yes!, Thanks, Mom, for giving me your spiritually dedicated direction again. Today I will open my mind to God's principles, even though some I still don't yet know or understand. (Jeremiah 33:3)
In (John 1:1-3, 14) we see that Jesus was truly and properly God and truly and properly man. To accomplish this, Jesus had to empty Himself from the privileges of deity to become 100% God on earth. (Philippians 2:5-9)
Jesus lived and ministered as God's only begotten Son (John 3:16), who was well pleasing to the Father. (Matthew 3:17) This is just how we should live and minister as we serve Him. (Philippians 1:21)
In other words, like Jesus, you and I should strive to take the lid from Heaven's jar, in order to fill the earth and fulfill the purpose of God. (Matthew 28:19-20) (Acts 1:8)