This is Ron with your Motivational Message:
This last week, my youngest daughter, Gracie, wanted to pick out a special birthday gift for her mother—one that would not be a “Christmas Combo.” If you were born in December, you can probably empathize with the frustration of getting your birthday mixed in with Christmas. I took Gracie to a store two doors down from my gallery called Downtown Shabby so she could find the perfect gift. We looked at various items until finally Gracie stopped and said, “I want to get THIS one!”
It was a cute little candle holder decorated with snowmen. It was a very thoughtful choice on Gracie’s behalf. The kind lady at the counter wrapped the items nicely and we left to look for the perfect card to match the perfect gift. She indeed found a card that said everything that she wanted to tell her mother. We tucked the gifts away in the back of my van. For three days, Gracie would wait in anticipation of her mother’s reaction when she opened the carefully chosen presents.
When the birthday came, I sent a caregiver to retrieve the items out of the van only to find that they were missing! I immediately panicked and began making calls to see if any of my helpers had moved them. No one knew where they could be, only that they had seen them in the trunk. In my mind, I tried to retrace my steps from the previous days. I finally came to the conclusion that they must have been stolen from my van while it was parked outside of the mall the night before. “How could someone do something like that?” I wondered.
Believing that the gifts were gone forever, I returned to the same shop in hopes of finding a duplicate of the candle holder that Gracie had chosen. Unfortunately, there was nothing similar. I left the shop with new gifts, but couldn’t help feeling that it just wasn’t the same. They were nice items, but they weren’t handpicked by Gracie. I felt discouraged for letting Gracie down, and also felt violated for having something stolen from my van. However, things are not always what they appear to be. Little did I know where the gifts had actually ended up…
They had already been delivered! Gracie must have thought I would have forgotten them in the trunk, so she took them out that morning and gave them to her mother. What a welcome twist to a situation that seemed so unfixable.
This story is funny now, but it wasn’t so funny when I was under the stress and frustration of being, in my mind, “ripped off.” Sometimes we jump to conclusions really quickly even though we don’t have all of the information. I pray that during the holiday season with all the pressure of gift buying, fellowshipping with friends and family, that we don’t feel “ripped off.” As my story illustrates, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and begin to accuse others of wrongdoing.
I believe the secret to a joyful New Year will be facing the challenges in our lives with patience and understanding. I invite you to join me in looking at the big picture and trying to take the high road. Being quick to listen and slow to respond. Forgiving yourself and others, realizing that life is fleeting. May our hearts be filled with God’s love for all of those we encounter. We are all created for a special purpose; you are unique and can truly make a difference in this world. Happy New Year!
To your inspiration,