I have to tell you, I’ve seen some pretty ghastly Christmas gift disasters over the years. Shouldn’t there be a buying guide that lists what not to buy? Sort of an “un-buying guide”?
For women I think the un-buying guide should include anything that even remotely resembles a power tool. Vacuum cleaner bags—also a bad idea. Even the lavender scented ones. Another bad gift idea for women: A gift membership to the Guerilla Weight-loss Center. I’m pretty sure we should also include the special satellite sports-a-rama package.
And while I confess I’m not the final authority when buying for men, I think I can spot a few of the obvious gifts to avoid for them too. The Basket-weaving Instruction Trilogy on DVD, for instance. Bunny jammies with feet? Probably a bad idea. I’m thinking a Martha Stewart action figure would leave something to be desired, as well as the book, It’s Okay to Cry: Expressing Your Feelings through Exploring Your Emotions.
When shopping for men, it’s usually a good idea to find something with a huge, fluorescent warning label that says bodily harm is imminent. If the gift can maim, cause vision loss or singe eyebrows, we’ve got a winner. If it comes with a remote, you might see him tear up.
But if you were shopping for Jesus, what do you suppose would make the perfect gift? I’m convinced I know exactly what He wants. He wants—you! And He wants you to know Him. One way we can do that is through connecting with Him in prayer. He wants us to spend time with Him—quality time.
Jesus told us we need private times of prayer. He gave us these great how-to instructions in Matthew 6:5-13: “Also when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by people. Truly I tell you, they have their reward in full already. But when you pray, go into your most private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open. And when you pray, do not heap up phrases, multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Then He gave us the Disciple’s prayer.
Our Father doesn’t want to be ignored. He doesn’t want just a show of prayer either. He desires sweet, sincere times of communication where we join our heart and will to His through experiencing Him in a fresh closeness. It’s absolutely astounding that when we give that gift of quality time to Jesus, we find it actually becomes an extra delightful gift for ourselves. The best gift!
The membership to the Guerilla Weight-loss Center? Yeah, you can keep that one.
Rhonda Rhea / Contributing Columnist