At this time of the year I hope we all take time to pause and reflect on our many blessings. There are two things I would like to point out this Christmas season. 1. Is the Gifts and 2. Is gratitude for the blessings we have been given.
We all try to surprise people in our circles with gifts, family members, some from work, and other friends, all hoping that we have provided the perfect surprise gifts. I happened to watch a short video this year titled He Is The Gift you can watch it here. It is just less than 3 minutes. It is one of the most powerful examples of gift giving there is. And it sums up the reason for Christmas in the first place. It sets things in priority.
On to gratitude for blessings. All gifts are blessings and therefore deserve our most humble gratitude to the giver of the gifts. This year is a bit different for me. My oldest son returned home from his mission to Brazil for two years, my next oldest daughter is currently serving a mission in Brazil and should return home in May, 2015. As a parent of great children, I am profoundly grateful for them and particularly their mother – my wife, she is amazing.
Here is a different twist. My son decided that one way to pay for his college was to join the military, a decision I did not expect him to make. I suggested the Air Force because you get to fly planes and he, like me, has always liked airplanes. He had something else in mind – the Marine Corps. I said son those are the tough guys and the first ones sent in! He said yes but they are also the best trained. He did a bunch of his own studying and homework and felt that that is where he should be, so he joined up.
This is the gratitude part, being in the military with the chance that he could get shot does not excite me one bit. But knowing that he may get shot fills me with humble gratitude that he would put his life on the line for his country and thereby his parents. He is that kind of son. The Savior Jesus Christ said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13. I pray for his protection.We are all blessed with so much in this great country, before you and your family unwrap presents tomorrow morning get in your knees and thank your Heavenly Father, the God of heaven and earth, for your many blessings. It will change your Christmas. I know because it continues to change and improve the Spirit of our Christmas’. May God bless you and keep you.