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

Everyone is 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. I believe there is ingratitude there as well.

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. These jubilant, joy-filled givers are upheld by a three-legged stool:  one leg is beliefanother is faith, and the third is action. Passionate gift users and sharers believe in their dreams, have faith they will happen, and take action with the belief and faith that will be fulfilled.  A joyful life doesn’t exist without all three.

Take inventory of your gifts this Season. 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?  What gifts from others have you failed to acknowledge and be thankful for?

This Christmas, please open your hearts and hands to share and receive gifts. Christmas is always ours to grasp as long as we have hands to clasp,” (Seuss).

Oh come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant!

Merry Christmas!

~ From the desk of Becky Morlok ~


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