We love to receive gifts don’t we? Every special day of the year, birthday, wedding anniversary, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Friendships’ Day, etc., we get excited to receive gifts from our family, friends, coworkers, well wishers, etc. Gifts attract us quickly, don’t they? The bigger the gift, the happier we are. The better the gift, the deeper the feelings. The stronger the bond with the giver, the more precious the gift received. That is how we work as humans, right?
One of my friends (let’s call her Becky) was leaving the country for good. She wanted to meet me, but I was not able to meet her because I was not in town. I was busy with my brother’s wedding, which was held in my native, i.e., Odisha. So, she decided to meet another friend of mine (let’s call her Abbie). Becky gave Abbie something and asked her to pass it on to me. When I came back after the wedding, I received that gift from Abbie. I was surprised that Becky left a lovely gold ring for me.
Though it was a little big for my finger, I realised that she did love me a lot to give me such a costly gift, something that would be completely treasured by anyone. The best part was it would last a lifetime if I used it well and kept it safe.
Though I prefer silver to gold, that gift mattered to me. It showed the love Becky had for me, it showed that she does value me so much and it showed that she didn’t bother to spend to make me feel special and loved. Though it was loose and a little big, I chose to wear it around. I was not used to wearing rings those days, so I removed it every time I had food, did the dishes or washed clothes.
One Saturday, I went to a friend’s home for cell. The next day, I went to church, and the following evening I went to my brother’s place. When I got back to my room that Sunday night, I realised that my ring was not there in my finger. I called my friend to check if there was any gold ring in the room that I stayed. I called my church friends to find out if any of them had seen it. Finally, I called my brother too and asked him. To my disappointment, no one had seen the ring nor did they find after searching for it. I felt so bad.
I thought of the money spent for the ring and the love shown through that ring. I didn’t have the guts to tell Becky that I had lost it so fast. It was not even a few months then.
One day, while having a conversation with Becky, I told her that I lost the ring. I believe that she felt bad, but she didn’t say anything to me. There were no angry words, sarcastic comments or condemning remarks. There was silence for a few seconds and then she changed the topic. I knew I lost something that she gave with so much love.
I didn’t go crazy when I lost that ring, but I did sense deep sadness take over. After telling Becky that I lost it, it didn’t make me feel better, but it didn’t spoil my friendship with her. Why? Her friendship was not based on the value of the ring or the safety of that ring. If I had kept the ring safe, I know that she would have been happy. The thought of losing the precious gift that she gave me would have made her really sad, but that didn’t stop her from continuing her friendship with me.
She taught me that gifts should be treasured, but the relationship with the giver should be treasured more. This doesn’t mean I can justify my carelessness. The point I want to make is that gifts are special but the relationship with the giver is vital.
In life, when we are blessed with material possessions, promotion, a huge salary, great talents, fit and healthy body, and valuable relationships, we tend to become obsessed by them, don’t we? We hold on to them so tight that when we lose them, we feel that life is over.
God is the giver of all good things. Whether it’s health, wealth or relationship, it comes from Him. Learning to be grateful for the blessing and not be obsessed by it will help us focus on the giver and not the gift.
Not to forget, He gives and he takes away. Therefore, when we are blessed, let’s not focus on the blessing but on Him who blessed us. Thus, when the blessings are taken away, we will not feel the pain so much, but we will continue to say, ‘Lord, blessed be Your name’.