A couple of years ago I wrote about the reason why I give my dog presents. But this year I don’t think he’s feeling the holiday spirit.
You see Roc is in his twilight years. He’s slower than he used to be. He spends most of his day sleeping. He has a lot of trouble seeing and moving around from room to room.
He’s still in good health overall; he’s just going through what every dog and every living thing goes through as they grow old.
He’s also really not interested in playing with his toys anymore. He used to wrestle around with his squeaky little friends all the time. Now he hardly even notices them.
Though he loved them in year’s past he just doesn’t enjoy playing with his reindeer or hedgehogs much anymore.
Instead what I’m learning from Roc this year is that he’s less concerned with my presents and more with my presence.
Roc has always been a lap dog. He loves to snuggle up my lap (or any available lap), especially under a blanket. If Kate and I are on the couch no matter how close we are he finds a way to slide in between us.
My presence to him seems more important than ever in his golden years.
He seems happiest not when he’s wrestling with a stuffed animal or running circles in the backyard but when I finally come home and he can sit on the couch with me. He hardly ever goes to his bed anymore. He always wants to be held.
He doesn’t really care about playing with toys. All he really wants to do is be close to me.It’s not my presents that excite him, it’s my presence.
Though I’m the master and Roc is the dog, if you reverse the situation I think you’d find the same to be true with God.
Yes I believe God delights when I use my gifts to honor Him through writing or speaking or performing. But it’s not our presents – our good works or our acts of service – that earn favor with God.
Ultimately what He wants is my presence. What truly excites Him is when I draw near to Him to learn, to listen, to rest, to be comforted, to be loved.
Our great works are not what impress our God, but our devotion to remain in His presence is what He desires.
So as I give my dog some Christmas treats this year, I’m also going to make sure to spend some extra time cuddled up with him. And I’m going to take a cue from him and take a break from worrying about my presents to spend some time with my Master soaking in His presence.
What can you do to focus less on your presents and more on presence? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. And subscribe to Pop God to follow along with The 12 Blogs Of Christmas: