All that said, I read an interesting tidbit in my morning devotional (I read the same devotional every day, so if you're wondering why I quote it so often, now you know) and it really struck home in an obvious way. I hope the paragraph below finds its way into your heart as well:
"Many of us grow up in religious environments. We go to church every week. We have a head knowledge of God, but we do not recognize God's voice in our lives. There comes a time when we must recognize God's voice for ourselves. God does not want us to have a religion; He wants us to have a two-way relationship with Him. Samuel was never the same after this encounter. He would know God's voice and would respond to Him in obedience."
- Os Hillman
You are loved. You are never forgotten. You are in His heart. Listen and live.
So many are struggling with the trials of life and the Christmas holidays can really bring that to a boil. I love presents and Santa and decorations and holiday music as the next person, but it can really add stress to people who aren't in the right frame of mind for it, whether it's a difference in religious preference or a time to remind us of the loss of a loved one.
Remember this as you meet people over the next few weeks, for business or pleasure. Love them where they are at. Just love them. They don't need anything else. Remember.... it's all about people, this life. That's it. People.
A TWO WAY relationship.
Whether you believe in the Gospel or not, you should still find a way to respond with love. Love without expectation.
Give not to get. Just give. You'll see.
Blessings to each of you today and always.