No matter how extreme the pressure may be, there is a spiritual perspective that can broaden what look like limited options and can ultimately meet any need. In fact, unless we step back and get this better perspective, we won’t really accomplish what we so much desire: to bring joy to someone we love. Instead, we’ll end up worn down and empty-handed.
These qualities, coupled with a willingness to be still and listen for God’s voice, unwrap spiritual intuition from the fears that would bind up our hopes. Fresh ideas become apparent. Prayer brings our thought into conformity with God’s perfect gift for everyone, the healing Christ. It raises our expectations above simply material solutions, above the feeling that “if I can just get this gift everything will be all right.” It opens the way for love to be expressed in practical, satisfying, and unexpected ways.
When Christmas morning came, it was clear that nothing I had found was on the list of items from her favorite commercials. She put on a good front, but I could see she was disappointed. I was, too. I had really wanted to find the right gifts.
I began to pray for her and for myself. I realized that I had a choice to make. Was I going to let our Christmas be marred by material influences and the latest popular fads? Was I going to let Christmas be ruled by material wants? Or was I going to see both my daughter and myself as God’s children, hence spiritual, pure-intentioned, motivated and truly satisfied by love, honesty and gratitude?
Mary Baker Eddy once wrote: “Christmas to me is a reminder of God’s great gift – His spiritual idea, man and the universe, - a gift which so transcends mortal, material, sensual giving that the merriment, mad ambition, rivalry, and ritual of our common Christmas seem a human mockery in mimicry of the real worship in commemoration of Christ’s coming.” She continues, “I love to observe Christmas in quietude, humility, benevolence, charity, letting good will towards man, eloquent silence, prayer, and praise express my conception of Truth’s appearing.” (First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p.262)
Quietude, humility, benevolence, charity, good will, prayer, and praise are divine means of expressing God’s gift of the Christ. And when they are brought to bear in our lives and our prayers, all our Christmas preparations, including any holiday shopping, will be calm, productive and satisfying.
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