Keith White

With….or without….you

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I am guilty. This year it seems like, Christmas has not only come faster than ever before, but it also seems like it has been totally missed. This time last year I had seen A Christmas Story at least 8 times, Elf at least 4 or times and various other Christmas movies multiple times. By this week, we had been to several church Christmas programs including an amazing production at Woodstock First Baptist Church. My Christmas shopping last year was amazingly done soon after Thanksgiving. This year, we have only been to the production at Burnt Hickory and I just bought the last gift this week.

The focus this year for me has been on the gifts to give, and not on the gift given. Thanks to the almighty Amazon.com, even the multiple trips to the mall where lights and people abound, even shopping for gifts has not been a Christmas spectacle. For the first time since I have known Steph, we didn’t even go shopping at the ridiculous time of the day on black Friday.

No excitement. No Christmas spirit. Don’t get me wrong, I have watched many Christmas movies; Elf, A Christmas Story, Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Carol, etc, the typical ones that are my favs this time of year. I have listened to more Christmas music this week than ever before and it doesn’t seem like its enough.

One of the movies that we watched is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The timeless classic about George Bailey and how an angel shows him what life would be like if he got his wish, and if he had never lived. He shows George how different life would be for those he cared about and how his life had made more of an impact than he ever realized.

Today, that has had me thinking. What would life be like without me? What impact have I had on those around me? What impact am I making right now? Youth ministry is my passion and right now, I’m not in ministry at all and I desperately miss it. I crave it but not for riches and glory but for the sense of knowing that what I allow God to do through me, makes a difference in the lives of those around me.  I know that God has a plan and this period of time is all a part of that and for now, I wait on Him. I wait for that opportunity to make a life altering impact again.

Sometimes waiting is the hardest thing to do. Steph quotes to me all the time “Be still and know that I am God – Psalms 46:10” and I had the crazy idea to argue that point. I argued that God wouldn’t give me this passion, these talents and resources to sit on the sidelines and watch others, but I was wrong. I was very wrong.

I am so incredibly blessed to have her in my life. She can see the forest when I can’t for all the trees in the way. She has always told me what I need to hear even when it would not be what I want to hear and would not be taken well.   She makes a HUGE difference in my life. I can’t remember what life was like before her and hope I never have to find out.

So what impact are you making in life? What would life be like if you had never lived? Who makes a difference in your life and whose life are you making a difference in? What would life be like…….without you?

Dear God,

Thank you for this time of the year. Thank you for the Gift that only You could give, Your Son. Thank You for opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those around me and for those You have sent to me who make a difference in my life. Thank You for an incredible Godly wife who helps me make it each day. Help me to wait for Your timing and the next opportunity that You have for me, to do what ever You need me to do.

Keith

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