I've always loved getting gifts. It doesn't usually matter what it is I will graciously receive someone's charity (except for socks. No one wants socks.) My daughter is the same way. She gasps when I give her an empty coffee can the same way she does when I give her a shiny new toy. Stores know about this universal language too and they have invented a holiday centered around getting gifts. We call it Black Friday. I know you go out to buy gifts for others, but you also get something for yourself. I know I do. Now let's fast forward to January 2nd. All of the holidays have passed and it is time to go back to school, to work, and to reality. The only gifts you are receiving now are the bills in the mail and now this thing called buyer's remorse.
Before we go down this journey this year, let me ask you, how much does your life change over the next month and a half? Not just the traveling and the eating and the festivities, but how much do the next 45 days impact you a year down the road? If you are like me, they affect my life very little if at all. This Thursday is a day to be thankful and it is fitting that we have a moment to stop and reflect. We need to be reminded that what we are really saying is that this is a time for us to be satisfied with whatever and whoever we've got. In other words, this is a time for us to be content.
When our focus is on getting we can easily be manipulated. The Bible says, "It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs." (1 Tim. 6:10) However, when we can be content, and more specifically content with God, then it says, "…godliness with contentment is great gain" (1 Tim. 6:8) Take a second to turn off the screens, the sounds, and the sights this week and find contentment in what you have been given. This is the place where we can be free… not to get, but to give. Don't you want that freedom? I know I do.