Recently I stayed at a hotel that provided some amazing lotion, shampoo and conditioner! After using them for the first time I had already decided they would be make the trip home with me! As I got home my children began to go through my luggage and my daughter spotted my stash! She too is a fragrance enthusiast so immediately she opened my travel size bottle of lotion. Her eyes widened as she commented on how wonderful the fragrance was. Immediately she took the bottle for her own use. I then proceeded to tell her that she needed to use the lotion sparingly, since it was the only bottle and it would not be replaced! She agreed to follow my suggestion, so much so, that she was unwilling to share her gift with me, the giver!
When I was in high school my grandma was giving me some antiques that had been passed down through our family for many generations. With each antique that I received was a condition -whatever I was given, was to be used. My grandma said, “These bowls are antiques but they were made to be used, not to sit on a shelf! You can only have these if you promise to use them.” My grandma was telling me then, not to get caught up in letting the value of a gift keep you from using it.
My grandmother understood the value of the gift but she also understood it’s use, it’s purpose. Yes, gifts are valuable but when we never use them, it is a waste.
Now I know what a lot of you may be thinking, “But that gift is for special occasions!” I understand, I do the same thing. I have a few dresses and shoes in my closet that are for “special occasions” only. I also have a few pieces of jewelry that are for special occasions only. Some of us have sets of china and crystal that we have yet to use because we are waiting for that special occasion.
But let me ask you, what constitutes a special occasion? When I think of a special occasion, I see it as a rare occasion. With each of those occasions I want to use my valuable things to show the importance of the occasion. The problem is, those special occasions don’t happen that often and usually by the time I am ready to wear that dress, I can’t because it dose not fit anymore. When I am ready to wear those shoes, I can’t because I have some foot problem!
While I was thinking about my daughter and the lotion, and my grandma and the antiques, I began to think about the story of the woman in the bible who poured out all of the contents of her alabaster jar upon the feet of Jesus. That alabaster jar was her dowery, her bride price, she only had one and it was the most valuable possession she had. By giving up the contents of that jar she was giving up her chance to ever get married. Jesus was not at an elegant ball and He was not seen as a famous dignitary and it certainly was not her wedding day, yet as she sat at the feet of Jesus she understood who and what the valuable was. Jesus was the special occasion! She was sitting at the feet of the special occasion!
The bible teaches us a lot about what true riches are and what the true valuables are-they are people.
Relationships are the special occasion. Whatever valuable gifts we have, both physical and spiritual, should be used with the attitude of blessing the people God has placed in our lives. When we use our gifts for others we show them the value they are to us. When we use our gifts to make that person who has never felt special finally feel special, we are reflecting Christ. In turn we too are able to celebrate in the joy because we have been able to use our gift!
I realized from my grandma and the woman with the alabaster jar, that everyday and every moment spent with my family and loved ones is the special occasion. The time I spend in the presence of God is the special occasion. I tend to forget that though. The familiar ones in my life seem to get categorized as the ordinary rather than the special. Because of that, I hold back from lavishing and using the gifts I have all the while I am on the lookout for that “special occasion.” I believe that is exactly what the enemy wants us to think, to not see our sacred relationships as special. Therefore we get fooled to store up our precious gifts looking for the next person, that special occasion. If we continue to get fooled like that, then in our minds the special occasion will never come and our gifts will be wasted.
Gifts were never given to be looked at-they are given to be used!
We all have been given valuable gifts both physical and spiritual. I just want to ask, what gift are you holding back for that “special occasion” when the special occasion is right in front of you?