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Barbara Walking in the Valley
A weekly column for those who live and walk in Silicon Valley

by Barbara Dahlgren

Out of the Box
Column for the week of October 28-Nov 3, 2001

Dear Friends,

Have you heard that commercial for Taco Bell? The one where two yuppies are eating lunch outside their office building? One says something like, "Is that the n-c-q-f-t-b?"

"Yes, that's the new chicken quesadilla from taco bell?"

"Has it got the m-w-c-w-i-a-t?"

"Yes, it's got the marinated white chicken wrapped in a tortilla."

"It really looks good!"

"It is! What are you having?"

"Oh, uh, a p-b-j."

Now if you don't know what a "pbj" is, your childhood education is greatly lacking!

Then a logo comes on and the announcer says, "Think out of the bun." This is so Silicon Valley. "Thinking out of the bun" is of course a take off on "thinking out of the box" which is what they tell you to do at yuppie business meetings. The idea is not to lock yourself into preconceived ideas. Broaden your outlook. Think out of your box.

I love all of these abbreviations that have become a part of our society in the last few years. We have gone way beyond a simple "FYI" into a whole new dimension. I remember the first time I heard "24-7" and thought "What in the world does that mean?" But it didn't take long to figure it out.

Teen chat rooms have their own abbreviated slang. "WB" means "welcome back." "AFK" means "away from the keyboard." "GFN" means "gone for now." Pagers offer their own brand of communication. "143" means "I love you." "360" means "I love you back." "1040" means "you owe me big time." "747" means "let's fly" and "86" means "you're finished." I realized how this abbreviated communication has even crept into the Christian community when I received a letter signed "YBIC" which I finally realized meant "your brother in Christ."

You know prayer is a lot like abbreviated communication. We talk in our own slang and vernacular to God and he knows exactly what we are trying to say. (Romans 8:26) That's a comforting thought. Prayer is a subject on the minds of many during times of crisis. Some think that we use prayer only to get what we want. That's praying "in the box." To pray out of the box our prayers need to ask, "Lord, please help me find you, know you, follow you." (Matthew 7:7)

So dear friends I say to you "think out of that prayer box" and lift those prayers up to heaven. Don't worry about having the words exactly right because God knows what you are trying to say. God listens. God hears. God responds.



©October 2001

Be sure to visit this page every week to read the next edition of Walking in the Valley. You can write to the author at bydahlgren@aol.com.



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