Every Gift is a Golden Thing
“Please pass the biscuits,” a relative asked at some holiday family feast, a few years ago. As I lifted the bread basket, I said, “They’re not biscuits. They’re dinner rolls.”
“There’s a difference?”
“Oh yes. Biscuits are a quick bread. You mix them up, roll them, cut them, and bake them. They can be ready to eat in half an hour. The rolls take time. I started this morning, mixing the dough. Then it rises. Then I shape them. Then they rise again. Then I bake them. These take a few hours to prepare.”
The relative, by now, was munching on a roll. “Whatever. They’re good.”
Biscuits would have been easier. But I’d measured and kneaded, tucked the dough carefully into a bowl, stood watch against drafts, kneaded again. I’d carefully shaped each roll, settled them beneath protective towels to grow, then watched through the oven door as they swelled and became little golden things.
I’d labored in love to bring my best rolls, my offering for the family meal.
Then I got to thinking. How often have I received a gift–a lingering conversation on a busy day, a complex recipe prepared for my enjoyment, an object purchased at a sacrifice–and responded with a casual “Thanks!” instead of taking the time to specify my gratitude? A cashmere sweater hangs in my closet, a gift from my daughter, its green the same green as my eyes. How many sweaters did she reject before choosing this perfect one for me?
And I’d said, “Thank you,” just as if she’d passed me biscuits.
This season, my prayer is that I remember, always remember, that every friend and loved one is a gift from Him. Every gift I receive flows from someone’s labor of love. My prayer is to accept every gift with the gratitude properly reserved for little golden things, like dinner rolls.
16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
James 1:16-17 (NASB)