Did This Come With A Gift Reciept
I was very young when I got married. Almost reality television show young. I could legally vote (barely) but couldn’t legally drink champagne at my wedding. I was young, hopeful, and over anxious to begin to create my own Disney fairytale. I dove head first with full gusto and began to plan the wedding, not the marriage or relationship, but that’s a different blog all together. As the big day approached, my maid of honor, who was also my sister in law, hosted a bridal shower for me. Between chicken salad and bakery cake, I was given many gifts. This was a family shower, so there were no gifts of lingerie (except from adult people from my church, but that too is a story for another blog). As I began opening, I would get excited with each box. I would start unwrapping full of anticipation as I lifted each and every box lid. I grabbed one box and hurried to unwrap it while still looking sophisticated. With the box on my lap, I lifted off the lid, and pulled back the tissue paper to discover a set of arguably the ugliest placemats that have ever been made. I stifled the evil giggle that I could feel rising up and said my obligatory thank you and thought, what am I going to do with this?
I started thinking about spiritual gifts that God has given me. Spiritual gifts sounds wonderful, it holds all the trappings of that perfect thought and idea, but when I opened the box, I’m ashamed to admit that I was disappointed. When I knew I was opening the Spiritual Gifts box, I was secretly hoping for Prophecy and even the gift of Tongues. I’m thinking both of those gifts could be really entertaining at parties. Okay, if I can’t be a prophet or speak in tongues, then maybe I could have the gift of miracles. I mean Jesus’ first miracle was turning water into wine, so I figure I could practice that one a lot. I would get invited to a lot of weddings. When I opened the box all I saw was the gift of Discernment. I kept thinking, maybe God has a return and exchange program and I could tell him that it was too big and it just didn’t fit. I couldn’t help that old familiar thought of, what am I going to do with this?
That bridal shower was 20 years ago, and you want to know something? My marriage is over and I still have those placemats. Every year for Christmas or occasionally a random birthday I will wrap them up in the most elegant paper and ribbon and gift them to my brother and his wife. No one ever remembers that they are coming, but when they open them we can’t help but laugh. Then the following year, they may gift them back to me. I’m not sure I could remember another gift I received at that bridal shower, but those placemats have had more use than I ever imagined. Those placemats were used in ways that I never could have imagined. Sometimes you don’t get to choose the gift, but when it’s a gift from God, you better figure out how to use it. So while I still secretly wish I had the gift of miracles or prophecy, I’m also seeking, searching, and studying to use my gift of discernment. Like the placemats, I pray that I will continually be able to unwrap my gift and use it in an unexpected way.