|an old picture of Zoe clinging to what
actually matters, our friends' dog, Daisy
A few weeks ago I had a really interesting experience with Zoe. It was bedtime and she was obviously quite tired, so I decided to carry her to her bed (which I don't do as often now that she's not a baby anymore). As I was carrying her downstairs, she wrapped her arms tightly around my neck, nestled her head onto my shoulder, and I held her tightly in a warm embrace. It was a precious, special moment.
But then suddenly she realized that she had not grabbed the stuffed animals she was planning to sleep with that night, so we turned around to go find where she had last put them. The tragedy of the story is that as Zoe continued to fill her arms with an immeasurable number of animals, she was suddenly unable to cling tightly to me in a sweet father-daughter embrace. We had lost the cuddly connection we had once shared, and I had now become no more than her preferred mode of transportation from one place to the next.
Hoarding our possessions (our money, things, clothes, time, energy, and skillsets), can often force us to sacrifice more important things. We cannot serve two masters. We can't serve God and money. Like Zoe in the story, clinging so tightly to the things we own can distract us from more significant things or people that are right under our noses and can rob of us of the life God intends for us.
During this season of thanksgiving and gratitude, may we learn to loosen our grip on the things we own and the endless desire for more. May we be more aware of the things in life that really matter. May we recognize that the God of the universe is desperate to hold us close, shower us with blessing, and remind us of our God-given value. And during this frantic season of American consumerism, where a meal of the thanksgiving quickly gives way to Black Friday shopping, may we not let anything distract us from our first love...the God who loves us dear and holds us near.