I was trying to remember if we’ve ever experienced a white Christmas, in my lifetime. Living in Alabama, snow is a rare thing. When someone mentions snow it’s almost like saying a naughty word in front of your mother, because it sends community into a panic with everyone scrambling to accumulate as much bread, milk and other food staples that might be needed for survival, if we happen to become homebound by the snow. Snow is forecasted for today; in fact, it is already snowing in parts of the state and is headed our way, so I am patiently sitting in the parking lot of a local grocery store waiting for it to open so I can be first in line to purchase milk and bread, just saying…
But back to my original thought, no, I don’t remember experiencing a white Christmas, however I have experienced a warmer than normal Christmas, a rainy Christmas, a super cold Christmas with water frozen in the pipes of our house, a Christmas when there were way too many people in our house, some of which I didn’t know and one Christmas when our family couldn’t be together because of various circumstances which started with just me and our dog watching the Christmas Day parade on TV, but not a white one. If I had a preference, I would choose “the way too many people in our house” one over the “white” one, because it lends itself to being more joyful and heartwarming.
Spending time with family and friends is such a wonderful gift to me. I remember one Christmas, my wife’s Grandmother took all the pictures she had stored in various places, created an album for each individual child and grandchild unbeknown to them, wrapped each one in a beautiful Christmas paper, passed them out and had them all open the gifts at the same time. I was lucky enough to be a “fly on the wall” as I watched them turn page after page of memories. At first, everyone was very quite as they reviewed this awesome gift. Then there was a snort and a laugh and a tear or two, as they walked down memory lane. Photos from the time each of them graced the world with their presence until current day were carefully and lovingly placed in order for each family member’s photo album, a history of their lives on photo paper, which sometime in the past had been gifted to the Mother/Grandmother as a keepsake for her viewing pleasure. She knew the meaning of family, of love, of hope and of joy. It had taken many days and evenings to put these albums together and it was obvious from their reactions they knew it was done out of love for the family. She was a good steward.
As leaders in our families, communities and organizations, we must remember we do not own anything; we only manage God’s resources. We are the stewards of what God owns nothing more. Our influence in the lives of others is a practice in stewardship. Our actions and reactions to events in our life help others to make good decisions and to better navigate through this life in a way that makes a difference and adds value. It is our responsibility to be the best we can be and not allow the things of the world to take away the gifts God has bestowed for us be good stewards with His unconditional love to others.
Leaders go where the people are and walk among them as they instill new values into the people. Leaders never misrepresent their product or service to others. Leaders know they have something the people need but are humble and caring, because leaders are motivated by a love for people and desire to serve. Leaders remain in touch with their own influence and wield it without reservation and they never allow ego to drive them. Spiritual leaders are on a mission and never drift from it. They do the right thing for the right reason.
I encourage each of us to pray God’s agenda into our lives and not our own. Prioritize eternal things not temporal things. Don’t sweat the small stuff and judge ourselves before we are tempted to judge others. Stay true to our convictions and don’t wander from the narrow path. It will make a difference and add value to others. Malachi 3:8-12
Have a wonderful day,