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The best gift

Happy Holidays from ACC!!

Happy Holidays from the 161st Air Refueling Wing.

PHOENIX -- The holiday season is upon us - sleigh bells are ringing, colorful lights are sparkling, and carols are playing wherever we go.  For some, it can be viewed as a social ritual, but many others see it is as an inspiration of renewed hope.   In the role of a chaplain, I perceive it as God allowing another year to end with forthcoming possibilities.

I share this story from my personal life. 

Home from school during the summer months of the 1970s, I remember watching daytime television with my mother.  She would watch any Chicago professional baseball or football team. She had her favorite soap opera, "All My Children." But her most favorite programs were gameshows.  In spite of my mother's dominating ways to control our only television set, I enjoyed watching her shows.  She was especially passionate and boisterous when it came to watching "The Price is Right."  I felt like if she had been given a chance on that show, she would've definitely won something. 

You see, my mother never owned a car, nor did she have a driver's license, but at that time I asked God to somehow make it happen.  Instead, He allowed me to receive free White Sox season tickets through a school program, and I was ecstatic to be able to take my mom as my guest to many games.  My mother passed away before getting a chance to meet Bob Barker on "The Price is Right."

Sometimes, God does not allow us to have everything we ask for.  He wants to know if we will still trust and believe in Him, when we don't get what we ask for.  He desires genuine love for Him above anything he could provide for us. We can be easily distracted with worldly possessions, pride, greed, and selfishness.  When we realize that everything we own and desire belongs to God, we are granted an ability to receive more blessings from the Lord.

Fast forward to the year 2005, 10 years after my mother's death, I won that brand new car on "The Price is Right," in remembrance of my mother.  And, I am still a big fan of the White Sox!  God has a great sense of humor and a willingness to work with any broken vessel. 

The omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God wants us to be reminded that He has the whole world in His hands. In spite of hardship endured by others around us, we are left to resolve "it could've been me," outdoors with no food, no clothes, no friends and alone.  The true and faithful God of the universe establishes avenues for us to recognize His insurmountable love during the storms of life, the highs of accomplishments, and cyclical phases of our belief in Him.

My prayer is for everyone to give the best gift - themselves to God.  Please have a safe Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!