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The Day After Christmas!

Merry Christmas a day late! We had a great Christmas, I hope you did as well. This morning is quiet and I’m not thinking about a bird, or stuffing, I’m simply reminiscing about yesterdays’ moments. Journaling all the things that I will someday remind my Grandchildren that they did and said.

Christmas at our house has always meant a crowd, noise, and lots laughter. We have always wanted as much family as we could pack into the house, the more the better. As the years have passed the size has increased, (it’s strange how that works). However, Christmas is always over way to quickly! (if you know what I mean)

With such a large crowd, we have learned a few things to help the process be a little smoother. Imagine twenty-plus people in the room, opening gifts. In an attempt to minimize the mess of wrapping paper we have learned to place plastic bags strategically through out the room. Every one is encouraged to put the wrapping paper in the bags as they open the gifts. (except for the gift bags). This is very helpful.

However, inevitably, this efficiency doesn’t always translate. Just as I was headed to the dumpster I heard, “Hey, wait a minute, we’re missing something?” Even year! Every year in spite of all the warnings and  though we try to avoid it, some one (names are being withheld) inadvertently stuffs something essential into one of the bags. Instead of getting rid of the mess, they got rid of the gift itself.

Have you ever noticed that the smaller the present, the greater the chance that it might be scooped up and lost in one of the trash bags. No doubt you too have heard it, as everyone is packing up;

“I can’t find my iPhone.”

“Where is that gift certificate?”

“I know that I put that gift card right here.”

“Now wait a minute, this thing had a thing that well. has anyone seen that little red   sack?”

“I’m missing….”

Oh, you know what I’m talking about. And of course no one knows where anything is and everyone knows what this means. If you didn’t see it and I didn’t see it.

“Pops!”, (this is not going to be good)

“You need to go look in the trash bags.”

“Me? Why, me?”

“Well, I’m not digging through all those bags.”

There are at least eight bags sitting in the garage waiting for the truck to come on Thursday, (oops now Friday). Those bags are not just filled with wrapping paper. They now contain what’s left of the feast that we consumed. This means something akin to dumpster diving. The scraps from dinner, a smelly diaper, and who knows what else now stands in the way of several misplaced prizes. At least three pairs of eyes have now appeared in the garage to watch this recovery effort take place. This is a natural disaster, I need FEMA!

If we are going to retrieve the missing gift, we are going to have to go into serious recovery mode. (Maybe a hazmat suit is needed) Close pins for the nose and gloves are required (I’m thinking of CSI) gear as the first bag is opened. Suddenly, from deep within the halls of the home I hear “I found it.” The jewelry, the gift certificate, and the battery charger are all safe in the house. Giggles erupt, and everyone runs away. Me, I’m now trying to stuff, “stuff” back into trash bags. I see you! You are laughing! Your welcome!

Sitting here this morning I can’t help but muse over how many times in the midst of dealing with the wrappings and trappings of life we lose track of what really matters. It’s only after all the noise and excitement calms down that we even notice something is missing. However, once we realize that we’ve lost something, we naturally are willing to go to great lengths to find it. And we of course should be willing to do whatever it takes, (close pins for our nose and gloves as needed) to sort through whatever to recover what is really valuable.

As we move past the celebrations and look towards a new year I hope that each of us will take notice of what God has given us, each of us. Some of you, are trying to find what was lost. Some are passionately looking for direction. And some haven’t recognized that their gifts are missing.

Every person has a God-given set of gifts, talents, and abilities. God has blessed everyone with so many wonderful gifts. Everyone has a destiny, a purpose, a unique calling on their life. As as long as your still breathing that calling is still in play. As long as you are here, you have a purpose to fulfill.

Every human being is a “custom made creature.” There are no copies! You are a unique, one of a kind masterpiece. God would never make an “average” person. Every individual is wonderfully created in HIs image and likeness, and He is Glorious! So take a step back, look in the mirror and appreciate the gift that He created you to be. Now, think about why  He created you. You are here to accomplish things that only you can do. No one else can take your place or fulfill your destiny.

You have been custom made by God, given special gifts, to serve a specific function in this  great world that He created. Go ahead, refuse to live an “average life,” you are blessed and highly favored to reveal His life and love in a very special way.

God had something in mind when He formed you. Some will shake the whole world, others will bring peace and joy to one tiny home. No matter which one you are, the world will be a better place, because of you.

Go ahead look around, don’t miss what matters most. Do an inventory! Don’t leave the celebration without all the gifts that God has given you. Use your imagination! My grandchildren were flying airplanes, driving trains, and creating works of art yesterday. They were taking their gifts and imagining all the things that they could do. Joy is found in the discovery of your gifts and in finding your place in this great world.

Move forward, find your self-worth in the adventure of tomorrow. Don’t compare yourself to others, you will be happier, healthier, and experience more joy if you give thanks for your gifts and not look around at someone else’s, (just ask any kid). Don’t go comparing yourself to others, it’s just not profitable to you or anyone else.

Don’t look over your shoulder! No matter what lies behind you, your future is bright. No one has your gifts, no one can take your place, it’s always waiting on you. Think about it! There is only one yo; so if you don’t do it no one will. Everything you’ve ever experienced up to this moment has shaped and prepared you for today and tomorrow.

Reach forward, in the freshness, of the celebration of the birth of Jesus and take action to realize and live in your fullest and highest potential. And yes, you will have to take action, even before you have all the steps lined out. That is why it’s call “faith.”

God is whispering! He is always whispering to men and to women! The world needs you now more than ever. The world needs people who will use their God-given talents and gifts to make a difference in the world that He loves. Oh, yes contrary to what many think, God loves the world, that’s why we celebrated Christmas in the first place.

God so loved the world that He gave His Son!

And He has gifted and given you to continue to make His Goodness, His Generosity, and His Grace known to the whole world.

Ok, so you might have to go out in the garage and sort through some stuff, in order to find what you’ve lost! But listen to me, you will never find it if you don’t start looking, but I can guarantee you; “you will find it when you do!”

Merry Christmas! And Happy New Year!