Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Gift Shopping

I haven't done any holiday gift shopping yet. Is that weird?

Not that I wouldn't love to, but I just haven't.

But then, by this time 2000 years ago, Mary hadn't done hers, either. It didn't affect the outcome.

Am I a Grinch? Far from it.

Am I stingy? I certainly hope not. If it was within my power, all my family and friends would have all of their heart's desire under the tree. Or at least as many of them as it would be healthy to give them. I love giving gifts!

Life has not afforded me the privilege of giving materially as I would like. And this changes me as a person. Every year.

Most years I manage to feel reasonably satisfied with what I have given. But there is always the suspense, the wondering...will I be able to give this year? Sometimes I imagine Mary in rapt wonder at the Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh given (for her delight as well, I'm convinced) to her son, knowing that she and Joseph could never have provided such lavish gifts.

Yes, I've tried the 'save all year for a Christmas fund'. This year the Christmas fund was liquidated to help pay a large bill in the summertime. There are reasons for this, and I fear even explaining them would make you jump to the erroneous conclusion that God has not provided for us.  I'm just saying that no matter what, every year is a wrapped, unknown present for me. I never 'sit all the way down' until the end you might say. I struggle with being content with my present ability to give. I always long to give loads more!

The things I'm learning through this are hard-won, but priceless. Dependency on God, humility, the ability to see beyond the tinsel, and cheesy red and green gimmicks. For all it's changed me, I'm certain God isn't finished with me, but it hasn't been easy. Who said life would be?

Perhaps, someday, things will be different. But, for now, I must receive the gift I've been given.

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