Mary is one of those remarkable people who gets it right! She is called by God to take a central role in the story. And though her part is very costly, she is a shining example of obedience, faithfulness, and cooperation. “May it be to me,” she answers, “as you have said!” Mary gets it right.
Once in a while, perhaps, we get it right too. But only once in a while. Often, when it’s our turn to come onto stage, we can’t remember our lines or we forget where to stand. Even then, God is patient – but it’s so much more fun when we get it right.
When Julie and I were first married, we wanted very much to please one another. As our first Christmas together approached, we wanted it to be special and wonderful. Actually, we wanted it to be perfect. We didn’t have a lot, but we still worked hard to find ways to make our first Christmas memorable. For me, that meant paying careful attention to everything that Julie said as Christmas grew closer. I wisely assumed that, if I listened closely, I could figure out what she wanted for Christmas.
Sure enough, we were walking through a store one day when she saw something that she obviously loved. It was a pottery butter churn. She made over it, and even talked about it more when we got home. I decided right then that I’d find the money to buy that butter church. I knew that it would be a great surprise – and would probably win me Julie’s favor for decades.
Over the next few weeks, I scraped together enough money to buy the butter church. I secretly bought it and wrapped it and hid it. And I couldn’t wait for Christmas morning.
Late on Christmas Eve, we were talking right before we went to sleep. We were talking about Christmas and gifts and things we liked – we were talking about all kinds of things. And that’s when Julie, out of the blue, said, “You know, like that butter churn I saw in the store that day a few months ago. I really, really liked it then – but, now, I’ve decided that it wasn’t really that nice. I’m so glad that we didn’t buy it.”
Let’s just say that we had a hilarious Christmas morning – and Julie and I still laugh about that butter churn to this day. As it turns out, she was thrilled that I cared enough to try so hard – even though I didn’t get it exactly right.
I think God feels the same way about us. He loves it when we say the right thing and do the right thing – when we follow Mary’s example.
But He also loves it when we try – even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly.
This Christmas, give it your best shot. And be certain that God loves you . . . no matter how it turns out!