Christmas is just around the corner. I know, Thanksgiving comes first but there isn’t much in the stores that screams Thanksgiving. Instead of Black Friday being one big day, now we have Black Friday all of November and on into December. The excitement of getting up super early the day after Thanksgiving and shopping until we drop is fading away. Kids are making their lists, some long and others not so much. Even we adults have lists of things we would like to have. We may not need them, but it would be nice to have them anyway! But here is something to think about…not just around the holidays but year-round.
I know of a family that has one child and that child has everything. In fact, this child has so many things they need a separate room to sleep because their original room is full. But what this child really wants, all this child wants, is to spent time with their parents. They want to be noticed, loved, and encouraged. Yes, all the toys and stuff make this child the envy of their friends, but the child doesn’t find this so cool. Because at the end of the day, the most important things are not things…for any of us. If we are honest things are ok, but we too want to be noticed. We too want to be loved. We too want to feel like we are important in someone’s life, and not an afterthought.
I have had the privilege of working with kids for many years and it is always easy to tell the difference between kids who have people investing in their lives and those who do not. Kids, like you and I, as we look back over our lives may remember a few toys or outfits we liked. But what we will really remember is who spent time with us. We will remember who sowed into our lives. We will remember camping trips and cookouts, vacations, and family celebrations. Who took the time to attend school functions, sporting events, and birthdays. As you look back over your life, what do you remember the most?
I remember the smell of Grandma’s house on Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings. Turkey, ham, pie and all the fixins. I remember letters people have sent and seeing my parents at orchestra concerts. I couldn’t tell you what I received for most of my birthdays except the year Grandma got me a Bible. Time spent with others is precious, rare, and necessary. For many that is not possible right now. All the more reason to make phone calls, write letters, draw pictures, or send packages…even silly things. These are the things that matter.
We read in the Book of Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him…a three-strand cord is not easily broken.” We spend time with kids when they are scared. But how about adults? How many older people do we know who are alone and afraid? Could they use a phone call, a letter they can read over and over? How can we, given the challenges right now, connect with those who are hurting?
How we spend our time is even more important than how we spend our money? There are many distractions in our lives that have the potential to tear us away from what matters most. We do not know what tomorrow holds. It is not guaranteed. What do we have that we have been putting off? And why not make time to do some of these things today? Who do you know that needs some encouragement? Who in your life needs to simply hear your voice? How can we continue to make memories given restrictions? This is the time to get creative, silly, even a bit crazy. There is nothing holding us back. How will you make a difference in someone’s life today?
In His Grip
Pastor Matt W