O how the months had zipped by! Already it was time to update my wardrobe to last year’s most popular styles. I pulled into the Valley Mall.

Normally I don’t shop at the mall. The Goodwill and Union Gospel Thrift Stores pocket most of my $20-per-year clothing budget. But sometimes a person just has to splurge. I headed for the clearance rack.

Eureka! It was laden with 100 percent cotton miniprint shirts. Here in one convenient location was the latest in out-of-season, outdated, and unsalable garments. Each overripe gem desperately cried out to be plucked from the rack’s shiny chrome branches.

One particular shirt caught my eye, resulting in minor damage to the retina. The shirt was horribly wrinkled and clearly out of step with current trends.

It fits me perfectly! I said, admiring myself in the fitting room mirror.

“Did you find everything OK?” the woman at the checkout asked. This question ranks about number one on the World’s Most Lame Remarks list. My sinful self wanted to say, “Yeah, I found everything OK, no thanks to you, my dear I-am-here-to-serve-you store ‘associate.’” But I reminded myself that God loves store associates, too, and held my tongue, something I won’t do again unless I have a kitchen towel along to wipe my fingers on.

This Christmas you may receive a new shirt, maybe even one that’s in style. I suppose you could take the shirt back and head to Goodwill. But I suggest you do the really sensible thing instead and wear that shirt until it wears out. Because ultimately “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father” (James 1:17). While the ultimate gift is eternal life, a really nice shirt is cool, too. And remember: the person who gave the gift just happens to be an agent of God’s blessing. Don’t quash their joy of giving by asking if they still have the receipt.

Truth be told, my new shirt looks a lot like a pajama top. But that’s OK. The next time I get stopped for speeding, the police officer may let me go with a warning, thinking I was driving in my sleep. One look at my shirt oughta convince him.

Leave a Comment


Guide magazine only prints true stories. However, we do publish some imaginative stories on the Guide website. If you want to share your story with our online readers, click below.

Claim Your Thumbuddy

See if you can add another Thumbuddy to your collection.

Enter your claim code*