Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you. I pray that the incarnation of Jesus will not just be something that you sing about, but it will be something that invades your life each and everyday. I pray that Immanuel, “God with us,” will be the truth in every one of your experiences and circumstances. And may the gift of His presence guard you from this materialistic self serving world….because the only true black Friday took place on a hill called Calvary over 2,000 years ago.
What I’ve discovered at the tender age of 53 is that the things we use to think were really important cease to be nearly as important, and they are replaced with much better things. When we’re young we want toys…as we get older, we just want to be together. When we were younger we wanted named labels and high price tag items…as we get older, holding our grandson has a much sweeter allure.
Let me tell you what an arrowhead taught me this morning. I had breakfast with a dear friend and fellow church leader. We talked about church stuff, church issues, and we also dreamed about the future a little. He even paid for breakfast, but as we pulled back up in front of my office he said, “Rick, I know mementos are important to you so I want to give you something.” And he told me a little about his childhood….growing up on a farm…4 generations who took care of the same land, and that he loved to collect arrowheads with his grandfather…so much so, it was something very special between them…more so than any of the other grandchildren. When the grandfather found an arrowhead or something similar it went straight to my friend because of how much he valued it. So, when my friend reached across the car and handed me a perfectly shaped black arrowhead that came from this piece of land…it carried some power….it carried much more value than a new ipod or a kindle fire…it carried a story and it carried a friendship to a different level. I said, “Thank you, but did you notice that this arrowhead has been shaped by another tool?” and he said, “Yes, I thought of the same thing.” Both of us understood that the arrowhead could never have become what it was intended to be unless it was shaped by another instrument and another’s hand. “Like iron sharpens iron…so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Don’t get me wrong….if anyone’s feels the inclination to buy me a brand new corvette…..Please, feel free….but, I’ve come to value friendships more than Ferrari’s. And genuine and real openness more than the newest iphone. At least that’s what an arrowhead taught me this morning.
Love you all and Merry Christmas,