The best gift
Homage by Danny Hahlbohm
A gift is just that; a gift. Gifts are freely given and the best ones are unexpected, but what is our response towards those gifts, gratitude or attitude?
Consider these two stories I will share with you, and maybe you can relate them to an event of your own. The first story begins with a holiday that is just around the corner, Christmas; a time of year which is seemingly magical not only to the young, but the old as well.
This is a story of practicality in gift giving as well as a lesson in learning to develop thicker skin. About 25 years ago, I thought a good gift to buy for my then girlfriend would be a heavy duty set of jumper cables. I'll pause here for a moment for the laughter to just flow naturally, that's it just let it on out. Now in my rather unexpanded male brain and at that time, I thought that this practical gift would surely gain myself much favor in the eyes of my love, but for my naivety I would soon fall prey to ridicule. Such is life; as they say "No good deed goes unpunished."
This gift had all the intent of love included, but what I perceived as good, was received as goof, at least at that time. Now three days later, I found out that my girlfriend used these or actually someone else used them to help her get going with her car again; it seems she had a bad battery at the time.
Rejected or accepted, vocally or silently, such is the fate of all gifts and advice as a gift falls into play here as well. The second story involves a child and their parent; though the parent had many children, the parent thought aptly about that one child and decided to give him a gift. The child, when told of the waiting gift, began to envision all sorts of elaborate gifts. Then came the moment of truth, and presented to the child was a marshmallow ice cream waffle cone. The child, not seeing the gift as an act of love, only saw the materialistic aspect of the gift and behaved badly, refusing to accept it. The look on the parent's face was of sorrowful disdain, and that look was etched forevermore in the young child's mind. Later and after much maturity, the child would seek to reconcile with the parent over that particular incident and would be forgiven.
In the first story, the girlfriend is now my wife and yes I do give more traditional gifts and they are appreciated; the second story was myself as a young boy, and it was in my teens that I finally understood just how thoughtful that gift was. This all is just an introduction to an even greater message, a message of two gifts once again, but this time they are both without equal. The first gift and the one you are currently enjoying, is the gift of life. If you never had this gift, well we would have nothing to complain about, and we all need to vent, so I suppose when we find someone to vent to, we may have found another gift if they will hear from us.
But really look at what we have all around us, visually there is so much beauty and audibly we enjoy certain sounds just the same as we enjoy the sights. This and a time of communion with each other, this is a first gift. The second is similar in that life, again is the gift; only this time it is eternal and a sense of unimaginable joy is rightfully expected for those who receive and accept God and His Word.
All mankind was doomed to perish and perhaps this time permanently, if not by the intervention of God; God, growing tired of our meaningless sacrifices, would provide us, His creation, with a enduring sacrifice; a sacrifice that was truly holy and in the wake of that sacrifice He would provide our safe passage to the gift of eternal communion with Him, our Creator.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (ESV)
Three days it would take for mankind to realize just how wonderful that gift would be; but as is the case with the previous gifts that we could see always, not all would perceive the gift, our Savior, as precious.