Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Gift I Give Myself

         In a quiet moment of personal honesty you can identify for yourself the one gift you’d like to have, the one gift you’d give yourself. It is something of great benefit, and it’s something that would be a great blessing. What is it?
        Without a lot of explaining or a lot of self-imposed restrictions simply own up to what this gift would be. Then write it down on a slip of paper and put it in a safe place.
        Good for you! Identifying what this gift would be is a great beginning.
        What do you have so far? An idea of a great benefit, a great blessing, a great beginning.

        If you’re free now to delve into the matter, go ahead. Put some descriptions to it, but you are only doing this for yourself. No need to fuss about sounding logical to any bystanders. Openness to your own #1 Need or #1 Desire frees your mind so then the necessary parts and pieces can be assembled, formulating the What, Why, When, and eventually, How.
        “Hold on,” someone might say. “This could be selfish or silly or stupid. I highly value being logical.”
        Set that argument aside for a moment. Tell yourself this is only a little mind game going on, and you can evaluate the strength of your coffee or the taste of the morning’s muffin.
        You can choose to go ahead, like nothing has happened. Maybe you are too busy? You’d prefer not to think about what you really need?
        No challenge to your busy brain or your carefully selected reasons Why this won’t work, Why this won’t help anything, and Why you’re not going to step inside this revolving door. Might get stuck, might interfere with plans for a trip to the hardware store, might keep you from complacency.
        The one gift you’d give yourself, if only . . . if only . . .
        You’re right, of course. There is something that would enhance your life, but probably no amount of effort would land it at your doorstep within one hour. What you want would take some time to delve into, and you might stir up a batter of Guilt and Accusation and top it with a dollop of Fear or Anger. Too much time and trouble to play with such ideas as a Gift to Give Myself.
        Again, I say, “Hold on.” You are speaking about yourself, the one and only you. The person you are in your heart. You can do better than you are right now. You can be better, and it starts with this one step. Own up to what you need and want, so you can enjoy that next breath.
        To settle down your anxious mind open up to this idea. If God invited you into His storehouse of bountiful blessings which would you be happiest to receive? Well, “every good and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father . . . “ says James 1:17. Your Heavenly Father knows everything, and He loves you.
        “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4). When you ask Him for forgiveness and salvation you’ve made the biggest decision of life.
        Does that mean now you just sit back in a rocking chair on the porch? Can you click some remote device and that’s all the effort involved in a satisfying life? No and no. Life is about stretching and growing. It’s about trusting and obeying God.
        The gift you give yourself will require some thoughtful action on your part, but it will be well worth it. The thinking, planning, trying, and doing bring an added blessing. But you’re worth it.
        What’s the sequence? Where’s the point of assessment? Jot down a list, and this time commit yourself to making a beginning. Appreciate your concern, and anticipate the effort with a smiling attitude.
        Ask God for wisdom, direction, and courage!
        He will give you peace, joy, and a lively expectation for today and tomorrow.
        Be thankful for the gift you can give yourself.
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by Elaine Hardt ©2010