Think about Things that are Excellent!

The month of December has been busy with thoughts scattered in many directions. However, over the last few days my thoughts have been focussed on the more excellent things!

We celebrated the birth of Jesus in our usual way but several unexpected things happened – some good, some not so good.

Just moments ago, I swept up the pieces of my favourite glass serving plate, which had fallen off the edge of the counter. It was decorated with delicate, painted flowers and gold trim. The ladies who visit my home regularly will know exactly which one I mean because I use it all the time.

Earlier this weekend, because of the busyness, several of my other “treasures” were broken. It started on December 23rd, when my son and I were decorating our Christmas tree. It is one of our traditions to do this as close to Christmas Eve as possible. I waited till the 23rd, till my son was home from college, so that we could do it together. While trimming the tree, I dropped two Christmas ornaments that were very meaningful to me – one was a little ceramic frame ornament with an older picture of my triplet nephews and niece in it. Good thing I still have the picture! The other was one of my favourite, older, decorated-glass ornaments from Germany. I was saddened as I swept up the pieces, especially because I only have a few of these old ornaments left.

But God did some amazing things in my home this weekend that compensated for all the losses of physical treasures. Without any coaxing on my part, my husband surprised me by coming to Christmas Eve Service with me this year. It’s been a very long time since he’s been to church and I was thrilled that he actually shared this news with our son before I had a chance to mention it to him. He was just as surprised as I was at his dad’s decision to join us at church on the 24th and he asked me what I had done to his dad to “break him”. I assured him that it had nothing to do with me!

The second wonderful surprize was that I saw him enjoying the service… singing, smiling, watching and listening to every word.

My son also seemed to have been paying attention to the sermon. He revealed to me today that he wants to tattoo the words spoken by our pastor on his arms. The words that made such a big impact on him were, “My life goes on… forever”.

This “forever”, this “eternity” is more important and more wonderful than anything we have here on earth – including our keepsakes and treasures, which will break, shatter, fade or be lost some day.

It is the lesson that I was to learn this Christmas, at a deeper level, through two of my dearest ones.

During our Christmas Eve dinner, my husband, who rarely has meaningful conversations with anyone, began to tell my son and me how he had been “different” these past few weeks. He said that he had been led to share what he has, and to give of his “treasures” to those around him who matter more than the treasures themselves – including his colleagues, his two sons and his wife. One of the wisest things I’ve ever heard him say was during this Christmas dinner. He said, “Money isn’t that important anymore. I just wanted to give my motorcycle money away.” And he did!

God has made my husband more generous and more giving and that matters more than all the treasures.

As my son stated, “My life goes on… forever” but I can’t take any of those treasures into eternity with me.

Giving is more satisfying than collecting. It is one of those “excellent” things that are mentioned in Philippians 4:8.

”And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.”

Christmas Blessings!


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