It’s the season of gift lists, gift wrap, gift cards, gift giving, gift receiving, gift shipping, gift delivery, gift exchanging, gift returns.  The  gift drill is a marathon.  To successfully pull it off in record time you need energy and monetary resources, degrees in finance, creativity, logistics and most of all patience.

There is a gift aspect few people consider in the rush of the holiDAZE. It’s not exclusive to this time of year but a very real life issue,  something I refer to as “THE TRAGEDY OF THE UNOPENED GIFT.”

We are all born with gifts and talents to use (or not) in living  life.  Many people share their gifts while others guard and hoard theirs to settle for comfort and routine.  And then there are those who give but the gift receiver denies the provider the blessing of a thankful heart. “Among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver,” (Maya Angelou).  The life that is unopened to others, the gifts that are given but fall upon closed hearts, those are the heartbreaks born of unopened gifts.

Gregg Levoy refers to it as the common cold of the soul…a stagnant life of unrealized potential, unfilled longings. BOREDOM. 

To sinful patterns of behavior that never get confronted and changed,

Abilities and gifts that never get cultivated and deployed –

Until weeks become months

And months turn into years,

And one day you’re looking back on a life of

Deep intimate gut-wrenchingly honest conversations you never had;

Great bold prayers you never prayed,

Exhilarating risks you never took,

Sacrificial gifts you never offered

Lives you never touched,

And you’re sitting in a recliner with a shriveled soul,

And forgotten dreams,

And you realize there was a world of desperate need,

And a great God calling you to be part of something bigger than yourself –

You see the person you could have become but did not;

You never followed your calling

You never got out of the boat.

There is NO tragedy like the tragedy of the unopened gift.

“Passion is a desire, insistence, and willingness to give a gift….it’s an insistence on doing important work.  This relentless passion leads to persistence and resilience in the face of people not accepting your gift,”(Seth Godin).

Those passionately engaged in life refuse to be denied the use of their gifts. The jubilant, joy-filled givers are upheld by a three-legged stool:  one leg is belief, another is faith and the third is action. Passionate gift users, gift sharers believe in their dreams, have faith they will happen and take action.  A joyful life doesn’t exist without all three. Life will not come to you if you simply believe and have faith. ACTION is also required.

And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?
It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
— Dr. Seuss, How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Take inventory of your gifts and talents this Christmas. Which ones have you failed to accept or neglected to use? What rich blessings of life are you denying yourself by grabbing comfort and settling for status quo?  Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant. Open your hearts and hands to share and receive gifts for “Christmas is always ours to grasp as long as we have hands to clasp,” (Seuss).

~From the desk of Becky Morlok~

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