Andy Denen

Ideas on life, church, and culture.

…I’ll Show You Your Future (Part 2)

If you haven’t read my post from yesterday, you can do so here.

So, I go to my fourth grade class with my box full of goodies in hand, happy and excited to announce my arrival into the “box club.” And it worked! I was in. We hung out at recess with our boxes and talked about all the other people who didn’t have boxes and we bartered and exchanged items.

What was in others boxes? To be honest, looking back it was a major let down. They were items similar to my own. Trading cards, a random combination lock, fancy pens the guys’ probably took from their dad’s briefcases. Sorry if that’s a let down, but that’s just how silly this whole thing was.


One day I got called into the principals office. I remember specifically one of my classmates, the leader of this little “box club” as I’ve apparently affectionately named it, looked at me and said, “Hey, there’s a first time for everything!” He seemed so smug about it when I think back. He was so proud of the fact that I was getting called into the office. It was like a rite of passage.

When I got to the principal’s office I knew something big was happening. Because my mother was there. Sitting there waiting for me with a serious look on her face. I sat down wondering what was going on and the principal opened up his lecture with? You guessed it… The black boxes.

He starts going through my box. “How did he get my box!?” I thought. He is pulling out the things I had put in there at home in order to be a part of this super cool club. And then he pulled out something I had never seen before… and this is where the story gets weird.

It was a small vile. Almost like one of those sample cologne bottles. Small. Clear. And inside was a white powder. My mom freaked out. The principal gets a series tone. Me, being a super naive young kid, had no idea what the big deal was. “That’s not mine,” I say with a tone that I now realize sounded like a guy getting stopped at airport security after a trip to Jamaica where he tried to smuggle a certain “herb” back into the country.

Here’s the bottom line. My principal thought I was attempting to smuggle drugs into my Christian school fourth grade class. It was baking soda.

Baking. Soda.

Someone else in my special “box club” had brought a vile full of baking soda and snuck it into my box so I would get in trouble instead of them. My little fourth grade mind couldn’t really comprehend this because I never wanted my friends to get in trouble. I never thought of “ratting” anyone out. I never tried to pass the blame. I just told the truth, “That’s not mine.” My mom was furious. I had to spend a significant period of time convincing her I had no idea what that stuff was and why it was in my box. Needless to say the little “box club” ended quickly after that and I realized those “friends” were not friends at all. Only after this whole situation resolved itself did I realize how much I risked to be a part of this club.

We do that sometimes don’t we? There’s a lot of risk when you’re picking your friends. When you are choosing to trust people, it’s risky. These are people we are picking to know our close, personal information about ourselves and it matters. I picked wrong in fourth grade. And it could have cost me way more than a lecture in the principal’s office.

It’s worth the risk though. Because what we get out of it is worth so much more than it costs us. You will make some bad choices when it comes to friendship. That’s life. But it’s part of the process to landing with the ones that will be with you through it all.

But it’s definitely worth it.

Check back tomorrow to find out why.

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