Howdy and Happy Monday to you! Hope you are having a better time at getting your Christmas shopping done than I am. I rarely go to the malls even when it’s not Christmas time so the idea of holiday crowds makes me nervous. As scrooge-y as it might appear in the telling, getting out there in the miasma of people at this time of year is considerably unappealing. It’s getting to the point now though that I am worried about it getting done. Despite my reluctance to perform the tasks, I do value giving the people I care about something I think they would love. My procrastination is because of my loss of patience. I find that in the last couple of years, I have very little ability to just be in the moment, a mental place where you take things as they come, intending to enjoy whatever comes up. I know what I am doing instead. I am always thinking I should be making sense of life. I spend a lot of time trying to figure things out. It’s a strange kind of impatience; it’s manifested in always hurrying to get somewhere where you can think things through. It can steal the joy of spending time with the people you love, showing the care you have for the friends who make your life rich, for finding new friends who the promise of friendship is just a warm smile away. I was stopped in my tracks the other day by something my John said. We were having one of those conversations that have always been a part of our family life, but have been difficult to know how to do since we don’t have Jake playing his role. This family talk, this time of philosophy sharing, was a direct answer to numerous prayers sent heavenward the last several months. John was speaking from a pastor’s heart and it was in response to the responsibilities a minister will have for those who will call on him for answers. The context of why John said what I am about to tell you is not so important as they conclusion that his own thinking process had taken him to. Basically..
“There are things in this life that just aren’t explainable. There is no way to explain Jake’s death.” My mind went through a list of people, each of them going through unexplainable things. I thought about those who have gone through events that are unexplainable. And as much as we might not like it, no matter what your take on faith and God and religion, there will continue to be unexplainable things. It’s the way this world works. One of the most comforting activities for me these last two years, is to consider what and why I believe the things I do. But maybe I took it a bit too far. John went on to say thing that he and I both know firsthand. God has provided us the path to our ability to deal with these unexplainable happenings, even provide paths to making a difference with your life, but it should not be our expectation to have complete understanding while we spend time on this planet. One thing we can be sure though, no matter what, we can never let our questioning take away moments of joy. Those are as much a part of God’s destiny while we are on this earth as the brains God gave us to spend time questioning.
I think today I am going to take a lesson from my three sons, who have turned out to be true Christmas gift givers. Generous and open hearted to the man, they have commiserated and searched for gifts that expressed their love, doing so because they wanted their loved ones to see how much they cared. It’s what God felt when He gave His son to us. True joy is found in giving .I am going to enjoy the moments this week as I venture out to find things that my loved ones will know how much they mean to me. I am going to do my best to find things they will enjoy, I am going to be faithful that they will understand the love behind the gifts, and I am going to trust on the other side of unexplainable things, the power of love.
Today and the rest of this week, I hope you have the chance to live in the moment as you celebrate Christmas in the act of giving because of love.
Bible verse for the week: 1 Corinthians 13
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.