Marti, Chandler and I were discussing Christmas yesterday when the question came up: “What do you think God would like for Christmas?” and Chandler said, matter-of-factly, as if everyone knew this, that God would like a surfboard. Now before you jump to judgment or laughter over this, as I first did, give the thought a little consideration. Chandler’s comments on things like this, if he’s not joking (and he rarely is), are well worth thinking about, because they usually hide a deeper truth.
First, Chandler was dead serious about this answer, and second, he answered the question, “What would God like for Christmas?” by telling us what he would want, and what is wrong with that? Isn’t the best gift something you would like yourself — so much so that it’s a little hard to give because you wish you could keep it?
To be sure, there may be a lot more noble answers to this question, such as world peace, or less quarreling, or eliminating hunger, or even that we would all accept His free gift of salvation (I came up with that one), but the problem with all of these types of answers is that they depend on us making changes that we are largely inadequate to make by ourselves. We are hardly giving God a gift when we are depending on Him to accomplish it. God is already engaging us in all these things by His Holy Spirit. So what could we give Him when we are already seeking to give Him all of ourselves in the first place? What could we give God for Christmas when He already has everything? Well … how about a surfboard?
In giving God what we already want for ourselves, we would be entering into His humanity, and letting Him in on ours. We would be participating in HIs incarnation by acknowledging that He became one of us, and therefore understands our needs, wants and desires. He gets it that Chandler would like a surfboard for Christmas, and for Chandler to want God to have one too, is the true and natural result of a good relationship. It’s actually a beautiful thing Chandler is expressing.
It’s the part of a relationship with God that He desires the most — to engage with us over our daily lives. As Marti likes to say, “Love is not the big things we say, but the little things we do.” God wants our attention in everything, so for Chandler to want God to have a surfboard for Christmas is nothing less than an act of worship. He wants God to share in the joy he has, which happens to be the reason He made us.
“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever,” reads the Westminister Catechism of the Presbyterian church. In my book, that would most definitely include surfing. Hmmm … maybe God would like a surfboard for Christmas after all.