Monday Morning Devotion-June 19, 2023
Gift Wrapped Moments
A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great. Proverbs18:16
*From August 2018
Each time our granddaughter Quinn has come to visit the Lovely Susette and I keep reminding ourselves how precious these moments are. They should be treasured and tucked away in our memory banks. They should all be gift wrapped and stored up to be pulled out years later and so we can recapture the special feelings they involve.
That was what I was thinking as I wrote a devotion when Quinn was two-an-a-half years old. Now we have mpre gift wrapped moments each day since Ellee, came to live with us when she was a little over two-years old. Funny how, as we get older, we have a greater appreciation of the little things that occur each day and how some are truly special. So special they should be gift wrapped.
It was said of the architect Frank Lloyd Wright that he had a way of "gift wrapping the moment." Wright was noted for his unique, individual style of architecture in which he strived not just to design a house, but to create an environment. He was concerned with the details of the interior as well. Wright often "designed the stained glass, fabric, furniture, carpet and accessories of the house. Over 500 of his designs were built including the Guggenheim Museum and Florida Southern University. Even though he passed away over a half-century ago he remains America's most famous architect.
But all of those Wright creations are not the most important thing to consider. I think he left us another important gift. It was the way that he could make a "moment" really stand out that is special. When Wright gave a gift or treated someone on a special occasion, he could make it stand out from the ordinary. He took great pains to make it a surprise and to ensure that it was a big deal.
There is an added element of mystery and wonderment when you receive a gift that is beautifully gift-wrapped. With trembling fingers, you can't seem to unwrap it quickly enough as you seek to uncover the treasure inside the package.
Or perhaps your gift-wrapped moment is not a package at all. It could be a great surprise that is sprung on you. Tickets to a big game for a youngster. Airline tickets and reservations for Hawaii. A surprise birthday party. Your husband announces in a big Saturday morning revelation that he's going to clean out the garage. Okay maybe that last one is stretching the imagination. But any of those can be pleasant circumstances in which the presentation adds luster to the moment and enhances the joy of the gift. This is what Wright was a master at doing, in addition to his architectural talents.
If we put our minds to it, we can find many moments throughout the day that we can "gift wrap" and make them special for someone. The apostle Paul says if your gift is to encourage others, then do it. That's a nice way to gift wrap a moment. Paying a compliment makes you feel good, and the receiver feels great.
Paul says if you have a gift for showing kindness to others do it gladly. Although it shouldn't be your motive behind being kind to someone, be assured that these good things that you do will come back to you in many ways.
If you have money to share, Paul says to share it generously. Although money is a fleeting gift it can be used to do lots of good. Donations to your church or other charitable organizations become gift wrapped moments when received. Then they lead to gift wrapped moments for many others who benefit from their services.
I'm sure you can remember many gift-wrapped moments in your life. Isn't it nice when you receive a gift-wrapped surprise. One that was unexpected. It just changes your whole day. Sometimes your whole life.
From our childhood days we recall those gift-wrapped moments at Christmas. Those were tangible ones because the things we were eagerly anticipating that we would receive were actually wrapped and placed under the tree. The enjoyment of those holiday settings continues into adulthood as we watch our children enjoy those gift-wrapped moments. Those are universal.
There are moments that you can make special because of their uniqueness in your life. Only you have the opportunity to gift wrap them. It's that way with our Heavenly Father. Can you imagine how much joy it gives Him to present us with a gift-wrapped moment?
Listen to how God gift wrapped this historic moment for Mary. He sent the angel Gabriel to Mary and he said: "Good morning! You're beautiful with God's beauty. Beautiful inside and out! God be with you." Wow, how's that for some fancy wrapping?
Then, Gabriel completed the gift-wrapped moment by astounding Mary with the news. "Mary you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus. He will be great, be called 'Son of the Most High.'" (The Message, Luke 1:26-32) God is good at that. When he sets up a gift-wrapped moment He does it right. He always goes first class.
Sometimes a gift-wrapped moment is not really recognized for what it is. Occasionally it is disguised as disappointment. I remember such a story from Edgar Bergen's childhood. He had decided that he wanted to be a magician. So, he sent away for a book called: "How to Perform Magic Tricks." Every day he rushed to the mailbox and day after day he was disappointed.
Then one day the package came, and he was really disappointed. The bookstore had sent him the wrong book. The one they sent in error was not about performing feats of magic at all. Instead, he received a book on "The Art of Ventriloquism." Because of a gift-wrapped moment that he didn't recognize as one, Edgar Bergen and his sidekick Charlie McCarthy (the dummy) had a national radio show for 20 years and most of the great names in show business appeared with them. They also appeared in movies and on television. All because a mis-sent mail item provided when a new life-goal.
Our scripture lesson from Proverbs says that "a gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great." I believe that is saying that the Great One has a special gift-wrapped moment just waiting for you. The best way to receive it is for you to design and present one of those unique moments to someone else. By so doing you will be in the presence of God, so He can deliver your gift-wrapped moment to you
Greatness could be only one gift wrapped moment away!
Monday Prayer: Lord thank you for those gift-wrapped moments in life. We know they bring joy to the giver and the receiver. Amen!