Have you opened your present?

Published 8:38 am Friday, July 18, 2008

What do we do when we are given a gift? Do we set it up on the closet shelf to save it for next year? Probably not. Whether we are young or old, we like getting presents. In our younger years we can’t wait to rip open that wrapping paper to reveal the surprise. As we mature we try to act a little more discreet about our eagerness to open the gift. But deep inside we too cannot wait to see what’s in the gift bag.

God has given each one of us gifts. So we tear off the paper to see what our present is. Some may be musically gifted. Perhaps you are a good gardener. Some have the gift of teaching, a gift that can be used as they patiently teach at home or in a school setting. Do you find yourself always sharing your garden produce, time or resources with friends and neighbors? Then you have the gift of generosity.

Some are given the gift of hospitality. When stopping by their homes we feel welcome to sit down on the porch swing and enjoy the offered glass of iced tea while we chat. Maybe you have the gift of kindness. If so, you are one who opens up your heart to spend time with, make a phone call to, or send a note to those who are lonely or struggling with life. All gifts are important. One is not more valuable than another.

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Whatever our gift, God has given it to us to use. We do not put it up on the closet shelf for next year. God blesses us with these gifts to benefit one another. We do not live in isolation but in community. Our connections with family, friends, neighbors and colleagues are important. As we rub shoulders with those in our community we share the gifts that we have been given. And then as all benefit from each other’s talents, the community becomes stronger. We take our gift and use it for the benefit of others.

Have fun opening your gift!