In the quiet of a holiday night, I whispered to Matt, "Our tree really is better than anyone else's." Of course, I would never say that to people, because it would be rude, but it was true.
Cut by Matt's own hands in a Montana forest, this tree was ethereal perfection. It was only made better by glass teardrop ornaments and the tinsel Matt hung carefully, one strand at a time, over every branch.
The trick is in the reflection, and I have to admit I dragged my feet on that idea for many years. How could anything compare to the kids' Popsicle- stick ornaments and the plastic Miss Piggy I had had since I was a child? But finally, he talked me into it, and I tucked the family ornaments away in the crawlspace. Slowly we collected glass and shiny things.
"They need to reflect the lights on the tree," he said. Sure enough. And in this we find the secret for our fresh new year.
Paul tells the followers of Christ: "So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18a, NLT).
There you have it: Reflection is the thing. In a practical sense, that means we wake up every morning and do what the Lord has specifically shaped us to do. Me with writing Bible studies and teaching Awana, you with your caring or helping or giving or leading or teaching. Through the use of our spiritual gifts, God shows himself to the world.
We just hang out there, each in our own right spot next to the light, and people who pass by catch a twinkling of the glory of God.
So do your thing this year, and do it with all your heart, all your strength, all your brain power.
I tell you, you're gonna shine.
Christy Fitzwater is an author and pastor's wife living in Kalispell, Montana. She is the author of Blameless: Living A Life Free from Guilt And Shame and My Father's Hands: 52 Reasons to Trust God with Your Heart. Find her devotional writing at christyfitzwater.com.
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