“Back in 2013, the LA Times reported that the average American home has over 300,000 items in it and there are over 50,000 storage facilities nationwide (and this is the fastest growing real estate segment!)” We have so much stuff, we are drowning in the waste of it all. This year, we’ve decided to cut back on all the presents that’ll be forgotten and discarded in a year (or…a month) and spend our resources on making memories together instead. Aaron and I have valued experiences over stuff for quite some time, but we are finally getting all our kids on board with the notion too. My kids–the youngest two especially–still keep adding to their online wish list and I just sigh. What they think they really want soon won’t matter. I look at their top 12 “wishes” and admonish the kids that 12 days after those wishes are received, they will lose their shine. Despite their experiences that prove my point, they protest, “No, Mom, really. I will play with it. I really want it.”
I think there’s 12 things we want even more than stuff:
Want the truly incredible news? Everything on that list is offered to you freely. You won’t have to max out a credit card or pick up side jobs to pay it off. It doesn’t wear out, fade, or end up lost in a discarded heap at the Goodwill Store. Secured by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we receive the Good News extended to us as a gift no one else can give us (not to the depth, meaning, and eternal security of our Savior).
“On the cross he was thrown out into the spiritual darkness so that we could be brought into the warmth and light of God’s presence. Christianity, then, is not primarily about self-improvement. It is not just a place to get some inspiration and guidance for life. Of course, the Christian Gospel has massive implications for how you live. But it is first of all a message that you need to be saved, and you are saved not in the slightest by what you can do but rather by what he has done. Christmas shows us that Christianity is not good advice. It is good news” (Hidden Christmas, Timothy Keller, 24). It’s happened. The work for our souls’ redemption was finished.
So, the best gift out there isn’t one you can buy for yourself or anyone else. The best Gift reached out his nail-scarred hands to you and said, “Here, I am. Come into my arms. Repent. Receive. Rejoice.”
In Him, we have everything we need. We find our soul’s deepest satisfaction.
“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
― Augustine of Hippo, Confessions