Yesterday as I was riding along in the fiance’s car, I suddenly had a renewed understanding of the gifts in my life. I was looking up directions or something like that on the iPhone the fiance bought me in November (which is seriously the nicest phone I’ve ever had) and then I gently tossed the phone into the little cubby under the car radio.
I mean, this was a gentle toss. There was nothing harsh about it. There was no way my phone was doing anything but delicately sliding into the cubby where it likes to sit when we drive.
But as I tossed it, a little voice inside of me said, “Hey, this is a gift. Maybe you shouldn’t toss it. Maybe you should treat it with a lot of love and care. Extra special love and care, because it’s such a nice gift.” And as soon as that little voice said that, I had a totally renewed understanding of all the other gifts in my life.
The fiance’s car is a gift. Another super nice gift. I want to love that car like nobody’s business, gently fold in the mirrors each time we park, wash it, vacuum it, grab the empty water bottles out of it, and thank God for everyday we have that gift without fearing the day we lose that gift.
And I’m always telling people that our bodies are the second best gift we get in life after our relationship with Jesus. And we only get one of those gifts, so they are worth taking care of. But how many times do I not treat it like a gift? How many times do I act like food is for my convenience (heaven forbid we take more than 3 minutes to prepare lunch and 10 to scarf it down) or for my pleasure (I’ll eat it because it tastes good, right, not because it’s good for me)? This gift is awesome! I want to take care of it inside and out. I want to love it. I want to be in awe of a God who gave it to me and blesses me with it day after day after day.
And the list went on from there. My apartment is a gift, even with it’s slanted Victorian ceilings and creaky old wooden floors that I loved when I moved in but now seem “old” compared to the “new” apartments I’ve seen. The fiance’s apartment is a gift, especially with it’s 10 foot high ceilings and super big windows. These are worth vacuuming when I don’t feel like vacuuming and dusting when I don’t feel like dusting and celebrating, because I can’t believe I have such nice gifts. My friends are gifts. My family members are gifts. My time is a gift. And even some of the things I don’t love in my life are gifts that I want to handle with care and gratitude until the Lord chooses to “upgrade” me to the newer models.
Basically all of a sudden I was like “woah, I have a lot of gifts and these things are nice!” All of a sudden I wanted to handle everything with the best possible TLC as a reminder to myself that this is a gift freely given and as a little prayer of thanks and gratitude for how special it is.
Now, let’s just be honest. There are times when I’m going to mess up. There are times when I’m going to gently toss that iPhone, and that might be OK. I’m certainly not going to be carrying it around on a silk pillow wherever I go (though can we admit that’d probably be kind of hilarious and worth questioning if I was crazy?). But this little glimpse of understanding into just how many good and perfect gifts I have is totally renewing my energy levels. It’s crazy what a little still voice can do when you least expect it and how much it can inspire you to make a change.
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. – James 1:17 (NIV)