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holiday spirit?

December 21, 2007

So, I went shopping yesterday. I really didn’t have a lot to shop for, just a few loose ends to tie up, but somehow it took 4 hours. I planned on leaving in the late afternoon, but didn’t manage to get out of the house until almost dark. I drove around in the rain, sat in traffic for more time than I spent in stores, and spent too much money…but I am officially done.

While I was out, my husband called to tell me that someone had stolen the gift card out of the Christmas card we sent to his Grandma.  It was only $30, not a huge crisis, but still… I was immediately very angry, and very judgemental. How could anyone STEAL someone else’s Christmas present? I know it happens all the time, so I shouldn’t be surprised.  I can understand how a person could steal from a store – it is relatively anonymous, no name or face associated with the theft. But to take something that is addressed to someone else, knowing that the person on the other end will not receive their gift… It is really incomprehensible to me.

Too often I forget that MOST of the people in this world don’t have the Holy Spirit nudging them to do the right thing. Instead of being angry about the money, I should pray that this person will find the Holy Spirit that is so obviously missing from their life. The money is gone, and there is really nothing we can do now. But I pray that when this person spends that $30, even if it is for only a moment, that he will feel a little bit of guilt for enjoying something that doesn’t belong to him – that he might think for just a second about the people on the receiving end of that card.

It was really hard for me to enjoy Christmas yesterday. With the rain (that I should be thankful for), the traffic, the bills, and the bad news on the phone, I found myself wishing that it was all over. I guess that is what happens when I focus on the holiday spirit, rather than the Spirit of Christ.

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