Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Standing Upright

Standing Upright
Someone once said, “’Tis impossible for an empty sack to stand upright.” As a sack, I take offense to that statement. My life began in a factory. I am cut from a large roll of paper. With great care, my creator glued me together. Taking extra care to be sure my seams and creases were perfect. We come in all sizes; I knew I was destined for greatness when my maker cut me to be small.

After creation, and after being bundled with one hundred of my closest friends and family, we are stacked in a box with other similar bundles. It gets dark when that box is sealed, but we know the darkness will not last forever. We hope the darkness does not last forever.
The bundles bump against each other in the box; I can sense that we are on the move. With a soft thud, we feel as if we have fallen a small distance. This must be what it feels like when we are stacked on top of other boxes filled with my compatriots. The box sits still for what feels like an eternity. Will we be in darkness forever? I begin to fear we will stay in darkness for an eternity. Then one day we feel the jolt of our box on the move again. Hope spreads amongst us that we will see light again soon.

Once again, we feel the soft thud of being stacked with other boxes. Murmuring begins to spread amongst my kin; they fear they will never see the light of day. I am hopeful that we will; I am hopeful that we will serve to be useful one day. This time is different. There is a soft swaying motion. Our journey has to be nearing an end, right?
Countless times, we go through the excitement of feeling movement. Every time we bolster our hopes up. We will see the light again. It is a roller coaster of emotions. At last, one day we feel the sensation of movement again. This time I do not get excited; I have come to accept that I will never see light again. I hear the sound of the tape on our box being punctured and then cut open. Could it be? Yes! I see the light. I can hear my friends and family shouting for joy, crying tears of relief. Finally, the day we have prayed for has arrived! Light floods the box we have lived in for what seems like an eternity. It is so bright it hurts my eyes. That does not matter, I am happy to feel the light on my face. Slowly a pimply faced kid takes us out of the box and stacks us on a shelf.

Soon an exhausted looking mother with two screaming kids in tow throws us into her shopping cart. I begin to fret about what the great creator has in store for us. Our next journey is a short one. The mother throws more groceries in her cart. We are plunked on a conveyor belt, dragged across a beeping machine, and thrown into a larger bag. This larger bag is just like us, only made of thicker paper and a great deal bigger than we are. Suddenly there is an intense light shining in my eyes. The big bag teases me because I do not know what sunshine is. I like this sunshine; it feels good and warms me up. It is a short ride to my new home. I remember the soft lull caused by a road trip and find myself nodding off to sleep.

Once at our destination, the woman unloads the larger bags from her car. Again, my bundle of kin and I find ourselves in darkness. Before it got dark, we heard the woman tell her son, “Put those lunch sacks in the pantry.” What is a lunch sack? Several days of darkness pass. Nevertheless, it is better than the darkness of being in the box. The darkness of the box was continuous. In the pantry, there are numerous times in the day when the door opens and we get a quick ray of light. This goes on for many days.

Then one morning the pantry door opens and the woman reaches in for us. Cheers of excitement break out amongst us. Finally, we are going to be used. We get to work in the manner we were created. After recovering from the jolt of being thrown onto the counter our bundle is torn open. She removes two sacks from the bundle; I am one. A plethora of emotions runs through me. I am excited to work, but I am sad to be separated from my kin. The woman opens us up, sets us on the counter. We are standing upright. Therefore, you see, I am a lunch sack, I am currently empty, and I am standing upright.

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