Harry just left my office. He had scheduled an appointment with me a little over a week ago. Every time I saw his name on my calendar this past week, I wondered what his intentions were for his visit. Upon arriving at my office, he was a bit out of breath having climbed the steps leading to the second floor offices, carrying a big Christmas gift bag full of holiday treats. He huffed and puffed as he announced upon entering my office, “Merry Christmas! I’m playing Santa today!” He then pulled out two large tins of Christmas cookies and one box of Belgian Chocolates. As he handed them to me, I graciously accepted and thanked him profusely while knowing full well that I would eat none of what he brought. You see, my wife, Kim and I have committed lately to a low-carb, sugar free diet. Cookies and chocolate are most definitely on the naughty list while cauliflower and lots of it is on the nice list.

I promptly took the delicacies to our pastor’s staff meeting and encouraged all those attending to eat and enjoy. My thinking was that I should quickly get the temptations out of my sight and if everybody else gets fatter, I’ll look slimmer. All things considered, I should pass on the gifts. And then it hit me. I’m a pastor who preaches every Sunday and writes books like Restoration that proclaim the amazing gifts that God our Father gives to us His children every day, but how often do I find myself preaching about and passing out the gifts to others without ever enjoying them myself. Foolishly, even when I’m stressed, tired, and uninspired, I pass on God’s great gift of rest for my soul. Matthew 11:28-29 (NKJV) says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Maybe, just maybe this morning God was using Harry playing the part of Santa to remind me to enjoy His gifts for me. Maybe God was saying, “Pastor Beau, go read your own book!”