What was the best gift that you ever got? A lot of us have been getting gifts all of our lives for various occasions and reasons. Some amazing gifts, and some maybe not as memorable. I certainly remember a gift of a new 1975 Chevy Vega (at the time $4000) from my parents for doing well in high school and then getting a full college scholarship. That was pretty cool at the time because I never expected it. I mean, Christmas around my house was usually a lot of pajamas, underwear and slippers…maybe a board game. Nothing like the apparent abundance of gifting I have seen in my very own family since then. Now don’t get me wrong, giving is a good thing. It springs from a desire within us to express our love and sometimes our gratitude – right?
But what’s got me thinking today, having just come out of the most ‘giving’ time of the year, is how these many gifts are received. I mean, how many times have you seen a kid beg for a gift, maybe a new bicycle. Nothing else mattered in the world, but if little Jimmy could just get that new bike all would be perfect in the world – or that video game, or that new iPhone. But, soon enough the ‘new gift’ thrill would fade away. As gift givers I’m pretty sure we all have become just a little pissed off when we would see that oh so important gift left out in the rain, or broken, or lost. Such is the price of abundance. From much comes a numbness to appreciation. Ask anyone who has nothing, and you’ll usually find the opposite – gratitude for the littlest scrap.
OK – nothing new here. That is, until I thought of my own gift abuse. Now that you’ve had a chance to think about your greatest gift you may have come to realize that it wasn’t the bike, or the car, or that trip to Maui. Maybe you’ve realized like me, the greatest gift you got was when a special friend, family member, or mate came into your life. When a loved one who changed your life, literally changed the path of your existence, for the better. But then it takes you 30 or 40 years to realize it. Years where at times you took the gift for granted, maybe broke it or even lost it, because you thought it was yours to abuse.
And then I got sad with that thought.
And then I got glad, knowing I still had a chance through the grace of God and the gift itself, to receive it again, to see it as it was the very first time, to embrace it and cherish it and be aware that the gift was indeed from God; finally understanding that any abuse of a gift from God is a sin, in that like all sin it moves us just a little farther away from Him. And then I became better for that knowledge, for knowing that we are each gifts from God to one another – perfect gifts because He knows exactly what we need. And, so much better than underwear, or even a car, because God’s gifts are forever. Hug a gift today!