First Things First: Faith, Family, Friends
The Coach's Corner
Published Dec. 21, 2011 @ midnight
Once again it is the time of year that we are busy preparing to celebrate your birth. Your birth was unnoticed by most of the people of that day as they busy preparing for the census. Your entry into the world was in a humble stable, not in a grand palace, as the wise of the day thought it would be. The only witnesses were a few humble shepherds who were watching the skies by night, and some truly wise men who were searching for a sign. Some things have not changed in over 2000 years. Today, people are so busy preparing for the celebration; they have forgotten what the celebration is for. In this season of overindulgence, greed, and desire for worldly goods, let us all remember the reason for the season.
In a nation founded by Christian men on Christian principles, I think it important to remember this time of the year and what it means to us. Today it is so easy to forget the most important priorities. We work hard, play hard, and think about money, and our position in life, and reacting to the world around us so intently we often lose focus on the correct priority.
John Wooden made a point when he explained, that we should not let making a living prevent us from making a life. We get so busy we do not spend enough quality time with and on our families. We get caught up in material things, thinking those things make up life. The pursuit of material possessions often takes precedence over the things that are more lasting, such as faith, family and friends.
Faith, Family, Friends
Give me faith, family, friends; they’re all I’ll ever love
They’re all I’ll crave from crib to grave and all I’ll bring above.
Give me faith, family, and friends, above prosperity
For wealth untold and fleeting gold do not appeal to me.
Give me faith, family, friends, not notoriety
To have a name with worldly fame does not compare you see.
Give me faith, family, and friends; they are my priority
I’ll be well known among my own and rich I’ll surely be.
That night God appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “What do you want? Ask, and I will give it to you!”
2 Chronicles 1 : 7
Solomon didn’t find a genie in a bottle with three wishes to be granted him. God gave Solomon a credit card with no limit and told him to have at it. What would you do if you won the lottery? Do you think the winnings will make you truly happy. Do you believe the winnings will give you time to spend quality time with your loved ones? Did you know that 70% of lottery winners end up divorced? Knowing that, would you still want to win it and take a chance of being in the 30%? If you are single, you probably would risk being able to find someone who would want you and not your money. Do you really want to play those odds for your family, or even your life?
If you are not happy with the faith, family, and friends you have now, money will not make you happy later. But given the opportunity, there are few who would pass on the cash and choose what Solomon chose: “Give me wisdom and knowledge to rule properly, for who is able to govern this great nation of yours?” Solomon put his position, his responsibility and the people ahead of his own welfare. Because God could trust him with wealth, He gave that to him. What gifts do we receive?
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). Perhaps this Christmas season, each of us will commit to giving more of ourselves and worry less about scurrying through malls in a vain search for the elusive "perfect gift." The true spirit of Christmas is not found in pretty bows, glossy wrapping paper or sparkling lights, though all these things can remind us of a higher purpose: the love Jesus offers us and the priorities we should in return have in our lives.
Amid the glitter and glitz of a commercial Christmas, may we ever remember the babe of Bethlehem and follow him in giving the gift of self." And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn" (Luke 2:7). To the shepherds, an angel declared, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).
May the name and life of Jesus Christ be the true spirit of the season and forever be with us as we put Faith, then family, then friends, before work, riches, and worldly gifts. May we boldly and goldly give ourselves to our Faith, family and friends.