WORDS FROM W.W. December 24, 2009
About the only thing I spend any time comparing prices on is Breyer’s Ice Cream and soft drinks. Those items get announced in the weekly grocery advertised specials that are included in the newspaper.
Breyer’s on sale! I’m there!
A&W Root Beer discounted! The shelves need to be re-stocked after my visit!
Other items, however, I don’t spend time bothering about where it might be selling the cheapest. When it comes to Christmas gifts I’m an impulsive buyer. I see it. It looks like it would be appreciated by the one I’m buying it for. Five minutes later I’m putting the box or bag in the back seat of the car, and I’m out of there!
True confession time! Very few gifts that I buy will be remembered by me two years from now. There will be a few. I remember getting my parents and siblings Enstrom’s Toffee Candy last year. I remember a couple of things I gave Carol last year.
But wait! I said two years ago!
My mind is blank.
Call me insensitive or hint that I didn’t put much thought into it. The truth is that my impulsive spontaneity is just my purchasing nature. Send me to the store for a bag of potatoes and I’ll come home with a dozen items that aren’t healthy, a bottle of shampoo…and the potatoes.
Let me detour to faith. How many people’s faith experience in our culture could best be described as impulsive faith buying? And how many people would be considered careful ponderers of faith?
If I’m more of the impulsive kind of faith follower do I allow the love of God to grasp the depths of my soul; or is there a shallowness that causes me to quickly look for the next thing on the list?
In The Message paraphrase the rendering of Luke 2:19 in regards to Mary’s realization of who her son was says, “Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself.” There was a grasp of the truth that took some time to sink in, to root itself, to own its validity.
This is not to say that God doesn’t move people in a moment, or the gospel can become alive and personal in an instant, but I do believe that the gospel is accepted by some for an instant and discarded in the next. Forgive the cheap comparison (It’s lunch-time!), but it’s the difference between Ramen noodles and homemade pasta. The first can be cooked, eaten, and forgotten about an hour later; while the other takes preparation, involvement, time, thought, and a commitment all the way to the end. One is cheap, and the other is more costly.
Faith should not be a blue light special. It’s a gift that was thought through and given by the God of love to the ones he loves. May the incredibleness of that gift be especially grasped in deep ways by us at this time of the year!