Monday, December 31, 2012

When the Magic Fades

         Christmas can be a magical time of year. Children are excited, the weather changes (for some), beautiful lights and decorations flood the stores and streets, and many people seem to be in a merrier mood. Of course, this isn't always the case. Some people do not enjoy this time of year-and to them I say bah humbug!  For those of us who are Christians, we have an even greater reason to celebrate. I know we have all heard this a lot, but it is important to set aside time to remember how God sent His son to earth to take on an earthly body as a little baby boy, knowing He would one day sacrifice that Son to save us.
This year brought an amazing Christmas Day for my family. After a fairly hectic month with work, doctor appointments, and crowded shopping, that day was so peaceful. My brother and I took charge of making the dinner, and he even ground up the turkey and stuffing so my mom could enjoy it since her jaw isn't fully healed. We enjoyed gifts and filming the cats (our children) with their new toys. Then, as my dad was reading about the nativity, it started snowing! It was a great day that we did not want to end.

         After such a wonderful day, I was deeply saddened as I started at work the following day. Despite the weather, many people decided to take advantage of the clearance sales, so the store was crowded. But I expected that. What really got to me is that after such a magical day, everyone was carrying on business as usual. Customers were frantic and impatient. Drivers on the slick roads were the same. My coworkers were discussing grievances about the job. It was like time was frozen in the snow that one Christmas Day, and then it unfroze and life forgot it. It seems that the music, lights, joyful spirits, and goodwill all faded in an instant. Why do people allow themselves to forget so quickly?  Why do we change back to our normal glum selves when the family goes home and the decorations come down?  Shouldn't we have those joyful feelings and kindhearted nature all the time?  And what about those who don't feel that way even on Christmas?  I don't believe God meant for us to get so caught up in our day to day busyness that we become grumpy, depressed, stressed-out, or inconsiderate.  We need to not only look at Christmas through the eyes of a child; we also need to find that childlike faith all year long.  So, as we enter a new year, don't allow the Christmas spirit and its true meaning to fizzle out. If you are too busy to spend time with God, then you are too busy!  Let us not forget the things God has blessed us with. As my pastor says, if God doesn't bless you beyond your salvation, you still have a reason to thank Him. And if you are not saved, please consider God's gift, it's the best Christmas present of all! 

“But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’”   Luke 18:16-17 (NIV)
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