I sat at the table for over five hours, watching people walk by. Every now and then someone would stop and pick up one of my books. I’d chat with them, telling them about the books on the table, the fiction about redemption in the face of abuse and the choices we make, or the collections of devotionals meant to stir their hearts toward the love and mercy of God. Sometimes I’d share how the Lord had used one of the stories to make a change in someone’s life. Usually, they’d smile and move on. They’d move on to buy trinkets at other tables loaded with kitsch — painted plastic Santas, angels made of dishtowels, and snowmen made of styrofoam.
As the day wore on I got a little discouraged
And, as discouragement often does, it started to move into bitterness tinged with anger. Why were these people so eager to grab things that had so little value and would last for such a short time? Why weren’t they more interested in buying something that could nourish their souls? It made me want to scream, but I kept quiet and tried to keep smiling when someone glanced my way.
As I drove home later that day I ruminated. I love that word — it means to turn over and over, as in a cow chewing her cud. And that’s what it felt like as I drove along — my stomach was churning; I was stewing over what had happened, and I wasn’t being very complimentary to those people who had not bought my books.
Then that still small voice whispered from somewhere beyond -
“And what about you?”
“Me, Lord? Um … What do you mean?”
I didn’t really have to ask. I knew what He meant. I too make bad choices every day, choices that are just like those kitsch-hunters. I choose things that are of little value and momentary pleasure over the riches and everlasting joys of Christ. Every day.
I was humbled right there in my car
And I had to do an attitude adjustment. I had to ask God to forgive me for my “holier than thou” thoughts. I had to thank Him for those who did buy my books and thank Him for what he was going to do in their lives through my mere words. And I had to ask Him to forgive me for all those times I’ve chosen the kitsch of the world over Him.
The verses in Deuteronomy filled my mind –
“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life…” (Deut.30:19–20, NIV).
There’s an awful lot of kitsch in this world, especially at this time of year. It’s tempting to allow ourselves to be distracted from the real story of Christmas, the true story of the Christ.
As the season unfolds, may we all avoid running after what cannot satisfy. May we all choose to listen and hold fast to Him.
Thank you for taking the time to read. This article is an excerpt from my Christmas devotional, Love in the Room, which is on sale through December. Just leave a message if you wish to purchase.
My name is Marcia Lee Laycock and I invite you to follow me if you’d like to read more of my work about finding the extraordinary in an ordinary life. 😊 Here on Medium you can find me at https://medium.com/pondrings and https://medium.com/koinonia and a few other publications along the way.
For more information about my writing and speaking ministry, check out my website — www.marcialeelaycock.com
This story is published in Koinonia — stories by Christians to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family, and fun.