“When you reap the harvest of your land, you are not to reap to the very edge of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Do not strip your vineyard bare or gather its fallen grapes. Leave them for the poor and the resident alien; I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:9-10
Christmas comes with a bit of irony for most of us:
- Although we should be celebrating a time of rest, it’s one of the busiest times of the year.
- Even though this year, we may have decided to engage in meaningful holiday traditions and enjoy our families, we will end up stressed out.
- In spite of trying to remember the FREE Gift that came wrapped in the birth of Jesus Christ, we will go into greater debt this Christmas season than in any other time of the year.
Basically, we find ourselves with very little margin: we are spread way too thin – with our money, our time, and our emotions.
Or to use a great illustration: we tend to “plow to the edge of our fields.”
If we look back to the book of Leviticus, we see that God did not want His people living this way at that time, either. He instructed them to leave some margin on the edge. He commanded this not just so that His people would have healthy habits, it was also for the sake of others who might wander into their fields. Some days the people might not come; other days they would. Regardless, the edges of the field were for “just in case” someone needed food for themselves or their family.
What if this Christmas things could be different?
Instead of a marginless holiday season – one in which we have gone all the way to every proverbial edge – what if we adopted a “just in case” mentality?
- What if we left some time in our schedule “just in case” we had the opportunity to listen to someone who has trouble around the holidays?
- What if we left a little unspent money “just in case” we had the chance to provide for a family who was having a tough year financially?
- What if we intentionally didn’t go all the way to the edge because, in faith, we believed that God would bring someone’s need our way?
What if we had a “just in case” Christmas?
Good things can happen when we live with a sense of “just in case.”
In fact, you might even say that the very first Christmas happened because someone lived with this sense. Because during some dark days of Israel, there was still a man who took seriously the law of God and didn’t plow to the edges. And because he didn’t, a young widow named Ruth was able to glean the wheat from the edges in order to provide food for her and her mother-in-law, Naomi. Boaz, the owner of that field, ended up marrying the gleaner Ruth.
And only a few generations later comes Jesus Christ.
Amazing things can happen when you don’t plow to the edges of your life.
This Christmas, leave room for “just in case.”
Written by Michael Kelley, Guest Contributor
To read more of Michael’s writing, check out his daily blog, Forward Progress http://michaelkelley.co/