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To Be One Again

One-year-olds bring their own brand of entertainment to Christmastime. We place before them armloads of presents adorned with paper and bows, then we patiently watch them (and then impatiently help them) meander their way through the giftwrap to the treasures inside. When they finally free their presents from their colorful confines, what do these little ones do? They play joyfully and contentedly with the paper, package, and bow! If young parents would just hand them a cheerfully decorated box, they would save a whole lot of money and their tiny tots would be every bit as happy. I say this in jest, of course, but there is a life lesson to be gained from these youngest among us.

In the greatest sermon ever preached, Jesus taught the gathered crowd, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things [life’s necessities] will be added to you.”1 Now, I must confess that for most of my life I naturally regarded this verse from the perspective of “all these things” inside the box. I “sought first,” of course, but the “added to you” was more of a motivator than perhaps it should have been. True to His word, God has always provided whatever I have needed, and I have been genuinely grateful along the way. Yet with age, I find myself returning to my one-year-old roots, captivated by the package itself: the bright “paper” that is God’s rule in the heart and the “ribbon and bow” of the righteousness—the right standing before a holy God—that Jesus gifts to us. The necessities of this life will be important as long as we are here, but the horizon seems nearer now, and these things that last forever shine brighter in its light. It’s a beautiful thing.

Where do we find true contentment, in things, or in open conversation with God? Where do we find true peace, in endless lists of dos and don’ts, or in entrusting our entire self to the life and love we find in Christ? Which is more deeply satisfying, the necessities of life—the things inside the box—that appear when we need them most, or the personal love and care of the God who provides them through the means of His choosing and to our humble delight? Don’t the eternal things that satisfy most deeply captivate us more completely with age?

Oh, to be a one-year-old again. Someday maybe.

Father, You are above all things. Lead me today in Your ways. Grace me to live and breathe before You in joy and in the confidence that Christ has taken away all my guilt and shame. He is Your greatest gift. Thank you. In Christ I pray. Amen.

1 Matthew 6:33 ESV

2 replies on “To Be One Again”

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