What's In Your Bag?

With all the hustle and bustle of the season, I like to make time to sit back and relax while watching some Christmas movies.  So far, I haven't watched any of the classics, but I've found a couple of newer movies on Netflix that I've really enjoyed.  And, I have plans to watch some of "the greats" like The Muppets' Christmas Carol and, of course, Charlie Brown's Christmas.  What can I say?  I'm still a kid at heart!

As I watch, I revel in the different ways in which Santa Claus is represented.  Yes, he usually has a long, white beard and a red suit, but from there, the details vary from movie to movie.  For instance, in some movies, Santa only needs to put his finger to the side of his nose and instantly he's inside the house.  In other, more comical movies, Saint Nick's attempts to climb down the chimney are met with utter disaster.  It's fun to see imagination in action.  (I guess that's why I'm a writer, huh?)

One of my favorite parts, though, is Santa's bag of toys.  I love it when Saint Nick reaches into that great big bag and pulls out the perfect gift.  Time after time, the bag seems to only contain the very next gift, which is always just the right thing.  Not once have I seen a movie where Santa pulls the wrong thing out of his great bag.  That's not to say that there aren't any, but I haven't seen one, nor do I think I want to.  It would ruin it for me!

Often, when watching such a movie, I find myself daydreaming of what it would be like to have such a bag.  Whatever I need, I just open the bag and pull out the perfect thing.  The item would always be right.  It would always be timely.  Oh, what I would give for a bag like that!  But then, in my Bible reading this morning, I realized that I already possess such a bag. . . and so do you.

That bag is the heart.  You see, Santa can always pull the proper gift out of his bag because he placed the proper gifts in the bag to begin with.  Our hearts work the same way.  When we put good things in, only good things are bound to come out.  If we fill our hearts with love, joy, peace and hope, those same things will be available to others.  Take a look at what Jesus had to say on this matter:

A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. - Matthew 12:35

See what I mean?  Just as Santa Claus fills his bag with "good treasure" for the boys and girls around the world, so should we fill our hearts with "good treasure."  Then, when it is time to pull something from the bag, there will only be good and perfect gifts.  We have the opportunity to bring forth good things in this life.  It simply depends on how we're stocking our bags (hearts) to begin with.

So I ask you, what's in your bag?