As the holiday season approaches, many of us get a little lump in our throats, a tender heart, and a knot in our stomachs. We look forward to our Walton Family Thanksgiving (“G’Night, John Boy.” “’Night, ‘lizabeth.” Anybody?) We anticipate the warmth and joy that comes from good food and lots of family and dear friends brought together to give thanks for the bounty we’ve been blessed with. So, we start making our lists. Buy the turkey, decide which dishes to use, wonder if we have enough chairs, pull out all the family’s favorite recipes, fight the shopping carts in the store, and start the cooking frenzy. By the time the company arrives, we are full blown martyrs sacrificed for the cause, all in the name of the major production. One year, I was in such a bad mood by the time everyone got here, I needed a nap or to retire to the bedroom. So, I made this list of tips for being a good guest, honestly laughing over it (because I would have cried otherwise) as it was all true and most of it had happened before 11 a.m. that Thanksgiving morning.
I am too often a Martha not a Mary, and I love my family, so I want this year to be different. I want to be a good host and I want to enjoy the time we have together. I know it goes back to walking in love not aggravation, loving when I don’t necessarily feel like it, and maybe just relaxing a little.
This morning in my time with God, I found this verse. 1 John 4:12(amplified version) says “No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us!”
It was a moment of revelation for me. When we love each other, God is right there in the middle of it and in us. When we love with His love, (even when we can’t find it in ourselves, His reserve is always avaliable, for God is love,) His love is perfected in us. When others see our love, they see our God. It is our living testimony of our faith. Loving requires some serious action, some forethought, and plenty of prayer to be gracious. It isn’t always easy. It requires a desire to walk in His presence and abide in Him. I am going to try to spend more time this year preparing my heart instead of my table.