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Good and Perfect Gifts  

As I write this, directly behind me in my office is a small round table.  On it is a sheet of white paper—the visible evidence of a visit from three year old Joslynn Jaeger.  The paper is festooned with an arc of seven bright orange stickers. Also on that sheet of paper, tiny crumbs of dried out play dough.  She and her “Grandma Di-Di” made two cats—one yellow, one black. They are, alas, both disassembled and back in their respective plastic cans. 

Yet the evidence of Joslynn’s visit is still present.  Underneath the first paper is another, bearing a partial outline of her hand.  You know—you flatten your palm on the paper and draw around it with a pen. 

How do you take something like that—with a memory as happy as it represents---and throw it in the garbage?  I cannot. I think I now understand Pablo Picasso’s observation, “It takes a long time to become young.”

The problem when we’re physically younger is that we often don’t value things as we ought. I’m reminded of James 1:17, “Every good and perfect is from above—and comes down from the Father of heavenly lights.”

Our problem as followers of Jesus, is that we often don’t recognize the gifts we’ve been given. So we value them less.  Hang on to them too loosely…and let them slip through our fingers. 

In the younger stages of life, we look for gifts that glitter: shiny cars, new houses, salaries that sparkle.

But with the passing of just a few years, you finally learn to appreciate the scent of a pine tree, the call of a dove…or the stickered sheet of paper left by your granddaughter.  The one with the play dough crumbs. 

As for Joslynn…she really is that good gift from above.  With so much sparkle in her personality, she has to be a gift from “the Father of Heavenly lights.”

There’s no need for any of us to grow old before we choose to learn to appreciate EVERY good and perfect gift.

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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