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Christmas Countdown #12: My Christmas Gift to Jesus

December 24, 2014

This memory is as tender to me today as it was when it occurred over fifteen years ago.

I had just dropped my camping gear on the floor of the cabin when a middle-aged man walked in through the door.

“Say, I hear we’ll be sharing this bunkhouse, hey?” He threw his luggage on a nearby bed and turned toward me.  “You’re Brad Zockoll, the youth pastor from Phoenix?  Long way to get here to Colorado.”

“Yessir,” I shook hands with him.  “I don’t believe I know you, though.  Are you a youth pastor as well?”

He grinned widely.  “I’m Robert, and no, I’m not a youth pastor.  I’m one of the adult chaperones with the group from Santa Fe.  A bit of a trip for us, too.”  He ran his hand through his thinning hair and paused for a second.  “Look, I know that this cabin was reserved for just two people, but I was wondering if you’d mind if I brought along my son.  He’s an elementary age kid, but he’s a real quiet boy and he’ll get along just fine…”

I nodded my head.  “Sure, that’s okay with me.  Where is he?”

Robert gestured towards the door.  “Right outside.  Hey, Charlie!  Come on in!”unnamed

Little pudgy Charlie came in meekly and waved to me.  He went over to his dad and leaned against him as he smiled up at me.  “You’re sure it’s okay?” asked Robert.

“Absolutely,” I said, moving my gear.  “Here, take this bed near you and let’s shove it over closer, so you two will be right next to each other.”  Charlie grinned and helped me push.  Soon the two beds were side by side.  We chatted as we unpacked our gear and I couldn’t help but notice how affectionate Charlie was toward his dad.  He would often hug him and enjoyed holding his hand as we walked to the dining hall later.  We got separated in the lobby, but one of Robert’s fellow workers sidled up to me as I stood in the dinner line.

“Say, I wanted to thank you for letting little Charlie stay in the cabin with Robert and you.  That means a lot.”

“Oh, it’s fine with me,” I replied, “but it’s not like it’s a sacrifice or anything…”

The worker nodded.  “What I meant was, this is a real sensitive time for Charlie.  You see, his mom passed away last month.  Aggressive cancer took her within a month after it was diagnosed.  Charlie’s an only child.”  He gestured with his head towards Charlie and Robert sitting at a table, Charlie resting his head on his dad’s chest.  “Robert’s been everything to the little boy.  He’s cut back on his job in order to be home as much as possible.  He’s playing mom and dad at the same time.  Robert is doing everything to help little Charlie.”

It was one of the most heartwarming weeks I can remember.  Charlie would lean against his dad every evening as Robert had a bedtime reading for him.  The two walked hand-in-hand to the chapel, the dining hall, the swimming pool.  Robert spent every available minute helping Charlie get through his loss of Mom.

Little Charlie’s love for his dad was evident.  He adored his father.

That’s the best possible word I can use:  adore.

And that word hit me this week.  That’s the best description of what I want to emphasize in my new commitment in my spiritual walk, not only in this Christmas season but in the months and years ahead.

I want to do more than praise Jesus.  I want to adore Him, and when I consider how much the Son of God has done for me, I am ashamed that I have not been more personally loving to Him.

Luke tells me that Jesus came to find me and rescue me:  “For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”

Paul reminds me that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I didn’t have to reach perfection on my own.  Jesus reached out and pulled me up out of the filth.

And here’s what I love: the writer of Hebrews states that Jesus has rendered both death and the Enemy powerless.  Think of it.  Jesus stood in front of me, protecting me and doing the fighting for me.  How can I not be incredibly, amazingly thankful for that?   Yet a lot of time my appreciation is in a glad song or a nod-and-assent for His salvation.  I do “Christian things,” sure, but my activity often outweighs my adoration, and that’s going to stop.

The song of this season reminds me:  “O come let us adore Him…”  So what does that fully mean?

Consider each one of these phrases.  The dictionary defines “adore” as

cherish

be devoted to

treasure 

dote on

prize

hold dear

I want to intensify my life with Him by using the above phrases in an active way.

I want to cling to Jesus and talk quietly with Him, treasuring and cherishing His words and leadership.  Just like little Charlie, I want to be hand-in-hand with Christ and dote on Him any way I can, in prayer and reading and singing and everyday conversation.  I want to lean on Him as I never have.  Would you join me?

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