I love the act of gift-giving and I’m always happy to receive gifts. Selecting a gift for someone means reflecting on how well I know that person, whether or not they will appreciate my gift and how useful it will be to them. It is often very personal and a symbol of my appreciation. As a child, I could predict my mother’s gifts because they were the same on every occasion. For birthdays, Christmas, academic accomplishments, being a good daughter and all the in-betweens; books! It was one of her many ways of instilling the value of education and giving gifts that we not only wanted but gifts she knew we needed. It’s ironic how I have found the most thoughtful gifts I’ve received to be books; whether it’s cute notebooks that have become the keepers of many secrets or books like A Year of Miracles by Marianne Williamson gifted by my brother accompanied with a sweet note.
A few days ago, I was selecting a gift for a friend who is moving into a new apartment soon. I wanted to get him something useful in his new space but also something that he would appreciate. Every store I went into had an array of gift items, yet it was a difficult task. I thought for a while about how well I knew him and concluded it wasn’t well enough so I would select something that matched the theme for his apartment. I sent him a message asking if he’d had a theme in mind and continued to browse while I waited for his response. In the time he took to respond, I selected something that I knew would be useful regardless of what theme he’d chosen. When my friend finally responded he said, “I didn’t even know apartments had themes”. I laughed and had an ‘ah men!‘ moment but often, our response is quite the same about our gifts from God.
Some of us do not believe we have received any gifts or have gifts to give others. We do not believe that we have done anything deserving of a gift or have anything worthy enough to gift others. Some of us have not yet acknowledged receipt of our gifts because it is not what we’re expecting or who we’re expecting them from. The truth is that we have all been given gifts from above; good and perfect gifts from our Father in the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows; not because of anything we have or haven’t done but for everything that we are here to do. Every gift which we receive from our Heavenly Father has been given to us by him in fulfilment of our purpose. There is a great feeling in knowing that we have already received gifts from God and all that he requires is that we use our gifts to serve others!
Learning. Being. Becoming
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
James 1:17 (NIV)