Loving God. Loving our neighbor.

Things That Last

Joni Eareckson Tada

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

This year Ken and I spent a little extra to buy the fattest, bushiest tree we could find on a California Christmas-tree lot. Its outdoorsy fragrance fills our living room, and I can close my eyes and catch a whiff of the High Sierras. We unearthed our box of Christmas ornaments from the garage, carefully unwrapping each decoration we’ve collected over the years.

There’s a little wooden horse. There are hand-painted clothespin angels, soldiers, and shepherds. A polar bear made out of bread dough. A little cornhusk doll. A bell from my sister. Each ornament is treasured; each has its honored place on our tree.

Silver icicles, lights, and cellophane-the sparkling, temporary stuff-has little meaning. When Ken and I untrim our tree, the icicles and fluffy angel hair will be dumped in the trash. The ornaments will be treated with special care.

Things that have meaning-last. Things that hold no meaning, although shimmery and eye-catching, are soon forgotten. It’s like that in life, too. There are many dimensions to our lives-some that have lasting value, and others, though they add sparkle, that quickly fade.

What are the lasting things in your life this Christmas? Are you accumulating treasured memories as you would old and lovely family tree ornaments? Does your first love for the babe in the manger last in your heart through the years? Does your desire for God’s Word quiet you during the frantic rush of the holidays? When you take away all the temporary glitter, I hope that you find real love in your heart and in your home – that’s what Christmas is all about.

Lord, may You be my lasting treasure all year ’round!

From Diamonds in the Dust, Zondervan 1993