Several years ago a group of older adults was asked the question, “If you could live your life again, what would you do differently?” The responses could be categorized under three themes: I’d risk more, I’d reflect more, and I’d invest in things that will live on after I’m gone.”
Risk, reflect, invest.
The Christmas story is filled with risk.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, took the risk of being misunderstood and rejected, she and Joseph took the risk of raising the Son of God, and the Wise Men risked the wrath of Herod. Maybe the shepherds even took a risk in leaving their flocks and running to Bethlehem! And God took a risk in becoming a helpless baby.
Mary reflected on the amazing events of the birth of her firstborn. “Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.” (Luke 2:19) It was probably these reflections that informed Luke’s nativity account.
Often we think of investing only in financial terms. But investing ourselves in other people, in causes and callings bigger than ourselves will result in dividends that will live long after we breathe our last breath.
It can be argued that every character in the original Christmas story invested in things that outlived them. After all, we’re still talking and singing about those shepherds, Wise Men, Mary and Joseph, and the child born in Bethlehem.
This Christmas maybe you’re up to the challenge to risk, reflect and invest?
Can you risk reaching out to a friend or family member from whom you’ve grown distant? How about reflecting in fresh ways on the Christmas story (Luke 2)? And what could be a better investment than to give time, love and resources to some young person in your life?