I remember the days when I would be asked to create a Christmas list. I specifically remember being asked by my grandparents to give them a hint about which gift might make me the happiest. I would search magazines, stores, talk to friends and my brother and parents about it. Trying to figure out what I didn’t already have that made me happy. Those moments come back quickly when I see the lights light up in our daughter’s eyes when they are talking about gifts this week.
By nature, even children don’t look at what they’ve already been given and give thanks. It’s much more about what we don’t have than what we do already. Being content is a struggle from day one, especially in our culture. As our pastor shared today, we all have three ways that we deal with desires.
1. By eliminating our desire. A path that leads to complete dis-connect from reality and the world we live in. Not a healthy choice.
2. By limiting our desire. A lifestyle of communism, where everyone has the same amount. Never tried this one, so no comment.
3. Satisfying our desire. Hello me! Maybe hello you? The problem with this choice is that the satisfaction spins out of control, so we’re now content with more than we need. No longer content with JUST what we need.
Christmas seems more challenging every year. Gifts add to the confusion, but it’s difficult when letting Christ shine through us can bring the joy of Christmas into someone’s life.
There’s no gift like walking through life with God. There’s not a life that can’t be satisfied by the desire that God, the Father, showed when He sent Christ to live and die on earth. What challenges me this year is to find every desire through that one gift. Learning from God and giving. Learn from Christ and sacrifice. And bless others who have less. Especially those that haven’t accepted that gift like I have.
The gift of a life in Christ continues to change me. That’s something I can be grateful for, and something that fills my desire every time I unwrap it. There are some days I’m not blessed because I chose not to open that. Being content happens when I re-open what God wants to do with my life. Pastor Mike made it very clear this morning how we all can become more content and live that life. Realizing that being content with what we have is a learning process (not natural), depends on God’s providence (not our wallets or savings), and that it survives even when you have only a little (even if we have to wait). WOW. That’s a present that I am putting on my list this year. One that I know God will be putting under my tree to be re-opened for years to come.