I don’t know if the picture from one of my earlier Christmases could be seen as prophetic, or as leaving an impact for what would come in my later life. The year was probably 1965 (car people will tell you that it couldn’t have been before 1964 ½), and among the gifts that I received were a cowboy hat and a Mustang pedal car. I have always enjoyed things that move, and another scene from our family photo album shows me in this red convertible in the garage of neighbors 5 houses down the block. Once I had wheels, I got around. That hasn’t changed. (In that second photo, I was seated in my pedal car, holding the neighbor’s cat, while still wearing my trusty cowboy hat.)
The gifts that Christmas were ideal, because I have carried the joy of those thoughtful presents repeatedly for over a half a century. I no longer have that particular cowboy hat, but I do still have the one that I bought and wore in my high school years. And one of my quests each time we travel to Honduras is to find, buy, and wear my newest Honduran sombrero (which looks much more like what North American cowboys wear than the hat of the famous Mexican dance.) And each time I come across a red Mustang (pedal car or larger gasoline version) my heart skips a beat or two. The right gift does that. It keeps on giving day after day, year after year.
~ Steve Negley
God, thank You for giving us the perfect gift in Your Son Jesus. And thank You for how that gift still inspires us, causes our hearts to skip a beat, and makes us into who we are. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen.