Can you believe it? It’s only 66 days until Christmas! What? Am I jumping the gun? Have you been in a store lately? The kids have not yet gone Trick or Treating. Thanksgiving is still more than a month away. And the Christmas decorations are making their annual appearance.
I am aware that every town has someone who leaves their lights up all year round. But many us of think that the middle of October is just a bit early to see snowmen and Santa Claus smiling at us when the temperatures are still hitting the 80s on occasion.
Of course, we know the reason. The stores are seeking to make a profit. Black Friday is the biggest day of the year for retailers. They want to pique our curiosity as early as possible. You see, they know that many will spend their money on that day. But if we spend earlier it’s even better. And the more we spend, the better it is for the economy, right?
Listen, I am as bad as anyone when it comes to being a big kid at Christmas. I still find the season magical. I love the music, the lights, and all of the other trimmings. But there is one thing that I am working hard to change.
By nature I am a selfish person. I like to get things. And I am easily swayed that what I have is not as good and as shiny as the newest and the greatest that is being advertised. My car has almost 160,000 miles on it. Those new Chargers and Impalas sure do look good. And my driver is the 2010 model. I could probably hit the golf ball further with a new one. And I only have 10 fishing poles. Every man needs 12 or more, right?
And then I read Paul’s advice to the Philippians. "I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content." Contentment. What a marvelous concept it is. I do not need to be content with who I am. God is still at work to make me the man He wants me to be. That process will not be completed until I meet Him face to face.
But oh how I need to be content with what I have. I need to recognize that God has given me all that I need, and more than I deserve. I imagine that is true for most of us here in America. God has been so good. Remember to be content. True contentment leads to greater thanksgiving and more worship. And we need more of both. Two verses after he wrote the previous words Paul completed his thought with the final words I will leave with you for today.
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me."