Never seek just the gifts, for gifts can only satisfy us to some degree. And the effect we get from gifts can be temporary, making us happy but only for a while before they become tiresome or lose its novelty.
Gifts are given, and by the same token, they can be taken away.
But the worse thing is, that the gifts can cloud the true reason why the gifts were given in the first place.
And i've been guilty of this, being satisfied IN the gifts that i've been blessed with. I allowed the gifts to obscure my vision, been so involved in enjoying the gifts that my line of sight deviated from the Giver.
I've come to realize how meaningless it is to take and receive without continuing close ties with God.
Sure, the gifts are wonderful. But what is more wonderful is the Giver and everything that He stands for.
Speaking from my own experience, i wish to truly say that when the focus revolves around the gifts, a feeling of emptiness pervades.
With a double clang as the key was turned, the gate opened and soon after, the heavy wooden door swung open to reveal and frame a tired Daddy who had just returned home from an overseas trip.
Dad stepped into the living room, and unloaded his shoulders and hands from the cumbersome luggage before turning back around to lock the door.
Despite his tiredness, his eyes had lit up when he saw his family safe and sound at home, going about their usual business.
"Hey, dad's home!"
His two daughters, upon hearing the door open and dad's voice, stopped what they were doing and dashed to the front door to see daddy and... What goodies daddy might've bought back from Japan for them.
"See what i've got for you? It's all in the bag." He said, as he takes off his shoes and socks and points to the navy blue bag that sat next to his luggage.
In a blink of an eye, his two beloved children, the two gems in his life, whom he had lovingly thought of while he was away, made a beeline for the bag. And in a jiffy, with bright eyes fixed upon the goody bag and with great excitement, they took off to one bedroom to divide the stash among themselves.
Dad looked on, as they disappeared around the corner, with love in his eyes and heart, but yet with sadness too. He knew that his children were just behaving as children would.
Caring for themselves, seeing just the gifts and overlooking the love and intentions behind the gift giving.
"One day, they'll come to see. One day, they'll come to understand."
He thinks. And he hopes.
Instead of being won over by the blessings, count them. Count your blessings and gifts, appreciate them and turn to the Giver with a heart of thanks and gratitude.
Instead of letting these gifts burn the connecting ties, let these gifts draw one closer to the Giver.
Let the gifts be a reminder of the Giver's love and faithfulness and remind us of who we really should be searching for.
For that chance to flourish some 40 years ago.
For freedom of worship.
For freedom from poverty.
For a good, clean government.
For compulsory education.
For a safe environment.
For good ties with other countries.
What else can we be thankful for?
Happy Birthday Singapore.