I don’t remember which Christmas it was, but this particular Christmas stood out to me for two reasons. Firstly, I counted twelve bin liners from the leftover wrapping paper from all my daughter’s presents. And secondly, I bought her an expensive electronic gift that I seemed to be more excited about than she did.
Ordinarily, this would have passed as any other Christmas, but this Christmas I remember because having bought my daughter a very expensive electronic gift, she did not open this particular present, or at least did not acknowledge its existence.
As you can probably already gather I was a bit agitated. Ok!! I give in!!! I was seriously annoyed. You see I had been researching this gift for months. I spoke to technical experts; bought magazines informing me of the best options. I had invested everything to purchase for her the gift she said she wanted. So wrapped with pride of place under the tree; I was convinced this would be the present-of-the-day. But as I said, she paid little attention to the gift.
Last Father`s day my daughter and I were driving to my brother’s house which is quite a distance away. As she entered the car for the long journey she presented me with a father’s day card and gift. Obsessed with getting on the motorway I placed her them on the back seat and began to focus on getting us to our destination.
As the monotony on the motorway became apparent my daughter asked whether I was going to open the card and the gift. As her requests turned to persistence, the memory of the aforementioned Christmas emerged. I remembered the unopened present that I had wanted her to open many years before. And in an attitude that could only be described as childish rebellion I stalled as she had done all those years ago. And I did not open her gift.
However, I could not continue this childish behavior for long, as a mixture of her insistence, and my curiosity, led me to open the wonderful card and present I had discarded on the back seat. But the best part of this experience was not the gift. The best part was watching my daughter’s reaction to me opening the gift. She went from a smile of anticipation to a smile that beamed like a rainbow. Her smile seemed to last for ages. She loved that I had opened her gift.
In the Bible, Ephesians 2 tells of a God that has given us a gift. This gift we don’t deserve, as it is rich and priceless; but God wants humanity to have it anyway. Yet, it would seem that the key to this gift is that we open it. So like my daughter, the choice to open the gift is yours. But what I must tell you is that by opening God’s gift to you: “You have the ability to make God smile.”
~ Paul King-Brown, Pastor