I wrote the post “Christmas ’93 and eternity” three years ago just after my son Jeremy turned 13. A few days ago, he turned 16. I don’t know why, but his birthday is always a time for me to reflect on the “gifts” that I’m giving – eternal gifts. This post explains why…
A few days ago, we celebrated my son’s 13th birthday by taking him to see the movie Eragon. He and his friends enjoyed it, though the story was a bit predictable for me.
Anyway, celebrating his birthday and preparing for Christmas reminded me of the Christmas of 1993. Our son was born on the 22nd of December that year. We brought him home on Christmas eve, stuffed in a red stocking. The next morning, we gave him his first Christmas gifts: clothes, a stuffed animal, and a full-size football (autographed by Bo Jackson, which is only important to half the population of the state of Alabama).
My wife was surprised that I would get my newborn son a football. But, he quickly outgrew both the clothes and the stuffed animal, but he can still play with the football! So, the football turned out to be a better gift than she thought at first. True, a three day old baby can do nothing with a football but drool on it. But, eventually, he grew to love football.
As I was thinking about his first Christmas and his first Christmas gifts, I wondered how often I focus on things that will truly last. I don’t even mean things that will last a few years or even a lifetime. But, how often do I focus on things that will last eternally? As I understand it, the only things on earth that are eternal are people. Do I give gifts that will make an eternal difference? Do I give things that will eventually fade? Or, do I give of myself to people who will last for eternity?
One day, I will join with multitudes around the throne of God. I hope that even this year I am giving eternal gifts.
p.s. Last year, we give our (then) 12 year old son a special gift. We asked several men who had impacted his life to write him a letter. We asked them to tell him something that they wished someone had told them when they turned 12. We then took all of the letters and bound them in an album. It turned out to be a very special gift!