Beware the gift that stops giving

Festive shop trees tower over gifts with shiny paper.

Colours dazzle, ribbon flows, joy is promised.

But inside all you find is an empty box.

But does it matter? It’s pretty. Enticing. Decorative.

Our minds are trained to focus on the external.

We peruse the packaging before we dive inside.

The bright white box of macarons.

The posted package filled with promise.

The person we love in their best outfit.

man wearing watch with black suit

Desire starts at the surface.

The superficial is where it’s at.

We conjure up stories about what’s inside, what’s over the rainbow, what’s beyond the fence.

We journey into what-ifs instead of remaining at what is.

What if… I’m missing out.

What if… there’s more for me.

What if… God’s holding out on me.

What if… this makes me happier?

Me, me, me instead of God, God, God.

These travels through the land of what-if began in Eden.

orange fruits on tree during daytime

The old refrain: What if I could know more, experience more, feel more…

And our first parents – who already had it all – followed their what-ifs all the way to the grave.

Instead of keeping their eyes fixed on the life they had in God, they followed another path.

Straight out of his arms.

Ever since, we’ve been lusting over shiny wrapping,

red ribbon on black textile

Believing there’s a trinket inside that’s better than God.

Frantic, hungry, we crack the gift open.

It’s just a box.

And rather than being empty, it’s filled with toxic fumes.

It promised so much,

Yet in the end it destroys.

The what-ifs become the what have I done,

As death replaces life,

And regret marks every step back to Jesus.

1 Comment

  1. Very good Ali! Nicely said and powerfully illustrating how so many people are pulled in and mesmerized by the trinkets or bobs and tassels of this world the material world seduction pleasing to the eye and deadly to the heart and then soul! Where your heart lies therein lies your god!
    I love these verses that bring it home for me, and I hope they inspire!

    First John 2:15-16 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.”

    Galatians 1:10 says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Clearly from this verse, we cannot consistently please both God and the world. The desire for popularity and even fame or fortune is rooted in our old sinful nature. When we give in to it, we are living “according to the flesh” (Romans 8:5, 12).
    If we are consumed with loving the world, which means being devoted to the world’s treasures, philosophies, and priorities. God tells His own to set their priorities according to His eternal absolute value system. We are to “seek first” God’s kingdom and righteousness (Matthew 6:33). (Matthew 6:24) “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

    I was just the other day writing these things to another devout Christian, and that was good; how it led to this sharing here.
    Lawrence Morra III

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