November 13, 2007

Teenagers, Part 2

Christmastime is rapidly approaching. On November 1, I had to make a quick trip to the grocery store, and waltzed into a winter wonderland, full of Christmas trees (Holiday trees?) and lights and snowflakes...I almost passed out. Kaylea's been making her Christmas list for about 6 months now (darn February birthday), and I've even put a couple of wishes on a list (Marshall AS50D acoustic amp)...

Then I hear this story.

There was a teenager who approached his parents and asked for cash for Christmas. This was not unheard of. In the very next breath, this teen asked if he could have the cash early. This was pushing the limit. The parents inquired about the details of the request.

The teen replied, "I can't decide if I want to spend the money on Christmas gifts for inner city kids, on building a clean water well in Africa, or split it and do both."

The parents were humbled, silenced, and proud.

There are thousands of teenagers who would think that this is stupid, pure foolishness.

But maybe this is what Christmas could look like.

Maybe this is what Christmas should look like.

"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

"Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

"If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met."

--Matthew 6.25-33 (The Message)

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