Ilove receiving gifts. I think most people do. My expectations aren’t very high these days, so I was pleasantly surprised with all the gifts I received this past Christmas. Even though it was probably the least I have received at Christmas all my life.
But no, this article isn’t a pity party I’m creating with the sneaky motive of asking for gifts. Like I said, I enjoyed the presents I got. Every one of them. Even the lovely blue loofah!
So what’s the point of me saying all this? Well, I noticed over Christmas that gifts are not always received in the way the giver means or hopes. No, I’m not saying I witnessed instances of individuals unwrapping gifts, making a face, thereby leaving the giver upset (imagine that!). Instead, I witnessed a few individuals unwrapping their gifts (long after the givers were gone), and judging the gifts. By saying things like “Oh that must have been on offer”, “I’m sure this is a re-gift”, or “Is he/ she trying to tell me something from this”.
At first I found these observations and inferences funny, quite amusing even. After a while it started to bother me. While I suspected that there was some truth to those remarks, I wondered why the gifts weren’t being received with openness and love. As if each one of them were truly from the giver’s heart, a worthy sacrifice. I guess that’s why people say “It’s the thought that counts”.
Taking some gifts for granted
As I reflected on this a bit more (this turned out to be my post-Christmas meditation fodder), I realised that I’m guilty of the above too. I know that I take many gifts in my life for granted. I simply take, oftentimes with little or no thought given as to the sacrifice or the heart of its source. And if all things come from God, the divine source, then perhaps I have not received from God in a way that He wants me to as well.
So here’s a thought: at Christmas, with all the giving and receiving, did we receive the greatest gift of them all in a way the Father meant us to? That was rhetorical, of course. Besides, Jesus is given every day to us, and will take our lifetimes to receive. The good thing is though, we have our liturgy to help. It’s structured in such a way that we are invited to constantly appreciate the gift that is Jesus not just at Advent, but through Lent and ordinary time too.
Delighting in the Lord
So let’s try and make that our focus every day this year – I know I will: to receive fully from God – all the love and blessings, Jesus especially – and just delight in them. And delight in Him, too.
After all, His love is always on offer, His love when received makes us want to share/re-gift it, and He is always trying to tell us of His character through His love.
Ah, looks like I know what will keep my mind busy as I scrub my skinny self in the shower this year with my lovely blue loofah!
Keith is a fool, a fool for Christ. Presently called to explore different ways truths can be communicated creatively, he is constantly surprised by God and His creative power. Current interests include comedy and drama.