2016: Page 330

Most of the time it is easy to sit down and write out the day’s page.  Today, however, is not one of those days.  The American culture calls today Black Friday because it has the ability to determine if a retail business will finish the year with its books showing a profit.  We have become so obsessed with “stuff” that many people will rush out to purchase things that they don’t have the money to pay for just because they’ve been convinced, or convinced themselves, that they need it.  Many times this pursuit of things creates a double standard when it comes to how we define wants and needs.  When it comes to providing for ourselves, the list of needs is often much longer than when we are called upon to share what God has given us.  

While the words for today’s page seem to be quite elusive, a poem showed up in my mind as I’ve been trying to write.  I guess the poem will become today’s page as I pray that I’m not missing what I was supposed to be writing.  

The turkey was eaten,
the pie disappeared.
Our attention has turned
to a red suit and a beard.
Our one day of thanks
has gone out the door.
And now our whole focus
is on wanting more.

And as we consider
what’s want and what’s need.
What we want is important,
what they want is greed.
So self is the master
we try most to please.
While everyone else
is brought down to their knees.

You can’t have what you want,
for I really don’t care.
That’s just how it is
and yes, life isn’t fair.
I give what I want
and I keep what I choose.
What I have is mine
and I’m not going to lose.

I really don’t care
if I could make your day.
That’s not why I’m here,
no matter what God might say.
For the things I do want
are always much higher.
Than anything else
that you might desire.

I hope you did notice,
and it’s more than a guess.
The poem you’ve been reading
is simply a mess!
Thanksgiving is over,
at least as a day.
But a life filled with thanks
should be here to stay.

So as our attention
turns to sleighs and reindeer.
I offer a message
that I hope you will hear.
The seasons may change
but the need still is real.
To give of yourself
no matter how you may feel.

We give of our self
and we give of our treasure.
We give by a standard
that no one can measure.
That standard is Jesus,
as He showed us how.
To give in the moment,
when that moment is now!

© 2016 by Tom Lemler

Today’s photo is one I took earlier in the week as a cardinal helped himself to some of the berries in the brush outside my office window.  To me, it is a picture of contentment as he ate his fill and perched in the glow of the early morning sun.  One of the neat things about the area outside my window is that there appears to be a willingness among the various visitors to share the food supply.  There are deer, cardinals, blue jays, flickers, woodpeckers, finches, robins, and other wildlife that all come to feast within view of my office window.  Even species that have a reputation for not getting along seem to tolerate each other at this location as I’ve had cardinals and blue jays eating side-by-side at times.  They share what God has provided and seem content with only what they need.

I pray that you and I would spend time with God examining our attitudes toward the “stuff” of this world.  I pray that we would listen to God rather than the world when it comes to defining what we need.  I pray that we would learn a contentment that helps us to not only live within our means, but to freely share what God has given us.  I pray that we would look to Jesus rather than others when it comes to determining how we ought to give.

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