The 'Gimme-Gimme' Christian
By Jennifer E. Jones
I don’t envy Santa’s life at all. Even as a fictional character, Kris Kringle has the most thankless job in the world.
For a moment, trade places with him in your mind. Right off the bat, you’re old forever. You never lose your hair, but you don’t lose those wrinkles or that gut either. You live in sub-zero temperatures year-round, and outside of your wife, no one else in town is even remotely close to your height.
That’s not the worst part. The thing that gets you the most is that people forget you exist outside of 25 days in December (aside from the occasional reference to “Christmas in July”, where you have to make embarrassing public appearances in shorts and a winter coat).
Sure, every year you receive thousands upon thousands of letters and emails, but most read something like this:
I want a puppy, a PlayStation 3, and my own copy of Cars on DVD.
No “Hey, Santa, how ya doing?” No “What would you like for Christmas?” It’s all gimme, gimme, gimme, and by New Year's Day, you're old news. Don’t expect many Valentine’s Day cards.
Doesn’t sound like much yuletide joy to me. It’s more like an indentured servant you only bring out once a year. What’s worse is that God may feel the same way.
For most of our spiritual walk, when it comes to Jesus, every day is Christmas day – and not in a good way. All day long, He receives prayers from His faithful followers (and a few foxhole atheists) that read like a grown-up wish list.
I want a wife, a new car, and healing in my elbow.
If I were God, I’d move and not leave a forwarding address. How awful to think of only being contacted when someone needs help or when something goes wrong. But that’s exactly what we do.
There are days when my prayer life consists of nothing more than a barrage of questions and requests. “Lord, please give me favor here.” “Lord, I need a blessing there.” Gimme, gimme, gimme. Even when I thank Him, I’m thanking Him for the things He’s done for me. On the surface, it appears as though I’m only conscious of God in the context of my own wants. I bet I sound like someone you know – maybe even you.
Do you ever wonder what Jesus wants for Christmas? Do you know Him well enough to venture a guess?
We often sing, “I Am a Friend of God,” when really it’s more one-sided. He knows the number of hairs on your head; you know His name is God and He has one Son.
Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ, so let’s decide that we’ll let it be the beginning of knowing Him more intimately. Put away your prayer requests and ask God what’s on His wish list for 2007. Delve into His Word, spend quiet time in His presence, or just ask Him how He’s doing today. Even with all of the universe at His command, He would like nothing more than to be known by you and appreciated for who He is, not for what He can do.
Now we understand that it’s impossible to truly know God in all His entirety. He is vast beyond our comprehension. We can’t even grasp the idea that He lives outside of eternity. Knowing Him sounds insurmountable but therein lies the challenge and the beauty. God is like an endless cavern with twists, turns and unfathomable depth. You could seek Him forever and never even crack the surface of His glory.
Like a true friend, God wants to spend quality time with you more than just once a year. He’s seeking a pure heart that won’t come to Him with a list of demands but rather an open ear and a willing heart. That's the ultimate Christmas gift for the One who has everything.
Got comments? Drop me a line.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.