She tore the wrapping paper off of the box in a scurry only to discover a smaller box inside. She yanked it out and ripped through the paper.
Inside was yet another box, the smallest of the three. Was It was worth the effort?
She ripped some more and screamed and jumped up and down in her pajamas. “JOSH GROBAN TICKETS!!” She yelled, “YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING!!”
Who does not love surprises? Who does not love watching someone get surprised like my wife on that early Christmas morning. It may not happen often, but it does feel good to be the recipient of a surprise every now and again. A little something to look forward to. A pick-me-up.
The rub is not to be dependent on that surprise or gift to get us through. Oh how easy it is to take our eyes off of the Giver of all good gifts. James said, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…” (1:17 a NLT)
We may have eyes to see but are we blind to the gifts God “presents” to us? Like the gift of a new day. “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24 NLT) This is a great verse to roost in your brain. When you wake up in the morning, you can pull it down and claim it before you put your feet on the ground to face today.
I love gift giving and putting thought and creativity into it. One reason behind why is I have been on the receiving end of thoughtless gifts. I can tell when someone has re-gifted. It’s obvious it fell from someone’s closet and made its way to my hands. Then, there are the gifts from the last minute tightwads of the world. They wanted to quickly get it over with, as they broadcast with a slant “Well, I did bring a gift!”
How does God feel when His children do a short-sighted job of giving Him gifts wrapped with sloppy motives? From his book, Genesis…Moses tells a short story of two men. One was a farmer. One was a shepherd. One knew the lay of the land and one knew sheep. “When it was time for harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift-the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but He did not accept Cain and his gift.”
Reading between the lines, the story goes on to reveal that the problem with Cain’s token offering was the attitude that lay behind it. (4:3-4 NLT)
The point is not to spend a lot of loot but to “give a hoot”. It’s the heart. Since God has given us way more that we could ever list…what can you give back to Him that is representative of your time, talents and treasure?
pictures courtesy of “Nelson & his Nikon”