The other day I heard an acquaintance talk about how terrible God is at gift wrapping. Just as on a birthday or at Christmas we may receive a gift, begin to unwrap it, and exclaim, “What the heck is this?” Our faces turn red, our words are stammered as we feel compelled to give thanks, all the while thinking, “What did I do to deserve this and how quickly can I get rid of it?”
Some of the situations I am ‘gifted’ with may be the same as that white elephant that turns up at my door. I’ve known plenty of people who have the knack of hiding presents that are received and they remain out of sight and, presumably, out of mind. Giving presents to my now deceased mother was often a trial. She didn’t use so many of the things I gave her. These were things that were sometimes frivolous- like the book pocket that she could hang from her mattress. She read herself to sleep at night and I thought she’d love it rather than have to step over the book in the morning. The book pocket remained in its box and I don’t how she got rid of it. I never saw it again, even when I rummaged through her belongings after she crossed over.
Underlying all of this, I am thinking about gifts and how God may give us what we certainly don’t want and don’t know what to do with. These gifts usually come in the form of misfortune and sometimes loss. An old friend of mine use to say “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle and sometimes we get what we get.” It’s up to us to decide how we will handle the cross we’ve come to bear. It’s up to us to be decisive in how we will respond to an uncomfortable interaction, event, or long term relationship.
During this past year there have been many changes for me. I’m happy to report that these changes came from a place of no longer allowing myself to tolerate hurtful situations. Did God give me these demeaning episodes that I had a hard time letting go of? I don’t think so. I think that, as my friend said, “I got what I got,” and it was up to me to decide what was enough and what no longer served me in the best light. I believe, not that God gave me a terribly wrapped gift, but that my Higher Power was close by, supported me, and gave me a big old hug when HP saw what I decided to do with it. The wind up, my acquaintance explained, is that depending on how we view and handle the awfully wrapped gift, we may find it is actually something of beauty in the long run that adds to our life experience in a beneficial way.
For today, I will try to be mindful of what no longer serves me and how to manage that in the beautiful light of my existence that my God has blessed me with, for I am thankful of the gifts of life and choice.