Years ago I used to get a present or at the very least a Christmas card for everyone I knew. It sincerely felt good giving a smile to people and even a shock to others that didn’t think twice about expecting something from me. God had removed some of the utter selfishness rooted in my heart and my new found change was freeing. (And quite exhausting which resulted in applying some wisdom in focusing the outpouring of love to primarily those closest to me.) In the midst of my exaggerated efforts to genuinely give of myself to others the Holy Spirit whispered to me that I had completely ignored Jesus.
What are you going to give Me?
Of course, there was no going to a store, carefully selecting just the right item, and beautifully wrapping the painstaking choice to give to Jesus.
I want a piece of your heart.
Would I surrender? Yes, Lord, but this is kind of…different. This surrendering is difficult, yet I feel something good. What is it?…I think it’s…joy.
The first year, He made it clear to me that I could ask Him what He wanted from me each Christmas. I promised Him that I would ask Him each year, even though it seemed like everyone I told thought I was nuts. More dying to self.
One year I gave Him the gift of being careful that I did not get distracted from Him during all the holidays finishing up the year. One year it was promising to study the Bible more. Another year it was to surrender to doing my chores without complaining. Finally, after a couple of years of the Lord asking me, I got to the point where I would obey Him and help the homeless. I don’t even remember them all. Have I failed? Yes. Did I give up the “tradition?” No.
I’m not a weird religious fanatic inventing a super-spiritual doctrine, but I am in a relationship with my God. I surrender my will for His. I’m passionate like that. I’m not ashamed. I love this Christmas tradition. It’s not always easy to let go of the pieces of my heart, but I get closer to Him when I surrender.
I have other Christmas traditions, too. Like binging on Christmas movies and music with my family and decorating, too.
Question for you: What are your Christmas traditions?