It’s like today’s readings were screaming at me. It’s as if God himself was banging down my door, shaking me, and telling me to open my eyes. It’s like Jesus was enveloping me in His arms and telling my heart to listen. The Holy Spirit was flooding my soul with the hopes I would find truth in the Word.
Now that I’ve been completely dramatic, I’ll explain. The holiday season is upon us. This is my absolute favorite time of the year and I love everything about it. But am I really loving what I should be? Like many, I get caught up in the commercial and superficial side of this time of year. I think about what I want. I think about what I want to do. I think about decorations and presents and holiday stuff. I make plans for traveling. I make lists. I schedule.
And I say “I" too much.
This is the time of the year to be grateful, to appreciate the abundance of life, to do away with excess, and to share with those less fortunate. But what have I been doing instead? I’ll tell you, it’s none of the above. I’ve been selfish. I’ve been obsessive. I’ve been impatient. I’ve been vain.
"You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts; for what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”
I’ve been so focused on my own interests that I have forgotten to live like Him. I’ve been impatient with my husband; I’ve been out of touch with my family; and I have been thinking too much about myself. And it has got to stop.
"I can do all things in him who strengthens me."
But I firmly believe that God has sent His angels down to wake me up. When I saw that I was assigned these readings for my devotion, I actually smirked. It was like God was saying, in His beautiful, subtle, and perfect way, that His Word is our guidebook to life in every way. It was so obvious. He was telling me, no shouting at me, to remember the reason for the season.
“It is well with the man who deals generously and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice.”
So today, I am reminded of the true meaning of this time of year. We must give generously with our hearts. We must put others first. We must follow His commandments in honoring our fellow man. We must give. We must.
Do you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of this time of year? Do you ever forget the true meaning of giving? How do you get back on track?
Samantha Aguinaldo-Wetterholm is a wife, mom, and soon-to-be-dentist currently living in San Francisco, California. You can find out more about her here.