You Don't Have to be a Tree -- By Sally I. Kennedy

"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." (1 John 4:4)

Although the calendar was barely registering December, my son-in-law got the train down from the attic. To the delight of their two young children, he assembled all the cars, the track, the motor parts. Now it would be ready to circle ‘round the Christmas tree once the tree was put up.

Mom and Dad were getting ready to go out that evening, and from the bedroom they heard a little voice, “But I want to watch the video......”, followed by a quick comeback, “No; you can’t watch the video. You have to be the tree!”

When the adults rounded the corner, they could see Tommy. He was standing stock-still as the train churg-chugged and circled its way around him. His arms were raised straight overhead with palms touching, trying hard to be ‘a Christmas tree’, as he tried to turn his head to view the video playing.

Sometimes I feel like Tommy. The world tells me to do this, that, and the other thing; buy this, that, and the other thing; be this, that, and the other thing. Sometimes I even forget I have a choice!

The chorus and partial verse of a wonderful worship song, called Voice of Truth (Casting Crowns) goes like this: But the voice of truth tells me a different story The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!" The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory" Out of all the voices calling out to me I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth …..I will soar with the wings of eagles When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus Singing over me I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth.

Yes, I do have a choice. I can choose to listen to a higher authority The world will squeeze us into its mold, if we let it. But the wonderful Holy Spirit, living inside all believers, will guide and instruct us day by day, and moment by moment, and all we have to do is listen and obey. Nope, we don’t have to “be a tree.”

That’s good news.

Sally I. Kennedy

©2008 Irish Thursdays Weekly Devotionals