The One In a Million Christmas Gift

the-one-in-a-million-christmas-gift

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In late August of 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated the golf coast, killing 1833 people and causing an estimated $108 billion worth of property damage.  Around 800,000 homes were lost or damaged in the storm.  These numbers alone are staggering and difficult to imagine.

My father, Pastor H. Lamar Smith, was Pastoring Mobile First Church of the Nazarene in Mobile, Alabama at the time that the storm hit.  Immediately following Katrina the Mobile Church went to work to help those in need.  They teamed up with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries and other organizations to offer food, shelter, clothing, medical supplies and more.

Things Worth Hearing

things-worth-hearingI have 4 kids ranging in ages from 5-13.  I promise you there is never a dull moment in our home.  They have learned over time to make each other mad by doing something that their other sibling does not like.  We call it “pushing their buttons.”

They each have their own list of things they do to push the buttons of the others. There is one thing that they have in common.  When they don’t want to listen to what the other one is saying, they just stick their fingers in their ears.  I am sure you have seen this before. It is their way of saying, “You are not worth being listened to.”

What would happen if we did that as adults? It would be unthinkable. Worse than a goat on the communion table. We would never do it even if we did not want to hear what the other person had to say.

Hurry Up And Wait

 

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hurry up and wait

“I’ve started to realize that waiting is an art, that waiting achieves things. Waiting can be very, very powerful. Time is a valuable thing. If you can wait two years, you can sometimes achieve something that you could not achieve today, however hard you worked, however much money you threw up in the air, however many times you banged your head against the wall…”

 The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie

Hurry up and wait can be a way of life.  We wait in the check out line. We wait for the food to cook. We wait for our kids to be able to talk, walk or graduate. It may be a way of life but I don’t do well with waiting. I would prefer it now not tomorrow. But the benefits of waiting can be forgotten.

 Waiting lets us prepare for what is coming. If what we were waiting for arrived today we may not be ready for it. When we learned that my wife was pregnant with our first child the mad rush of preparing for the arrival began. Now some 13 years and 4 kids later, knowing that Christmas is coming on December 25th lets me plan ahead and empty my bank account slowly instead of buying the gifts all at once. Ha ha!