Saturday, December 5, 2015

New Post: "Is Christmastime Missing Something?"

Is Christmastime Missing Something?

What if your experience of Christmas is missing something?

What if all the ideas that Christmas brings;
the imagining of fun, love, relationships, and joy,
what if it is all a lie?

And if you havent experienced these 'things',
If they dont appear real now, do these exist at all?

And what is left in the wake of this... emptiness?

When alone in your thoughts about Christmas, 
can you feel anything but sadness and depression?

I have struggled with these questions ever since I was young.
Wanting Christmas to mean something,
from the joy and closeness I had known.
But as I have grown-up, I have always longed for it to be "more".
Meaning, after Christmas was done, I often found myself sad
because it was lacking something significant for me personally.

Then each new Christmas, I would look for the same feelings as before,
and I quickly learned disappointment when I found them missing,
until I began to look only for what Christmas lacks.

At that point, all Christmas began to hold for me was resentment.
I wanted there to be something for me, yet I grew disillusioned
because as I grew up, it was never the same,
nor was it ever to be recaptured.

Perhaps this is what we adults look for in children at Christmas:
that sense of excitement and hope that we have lost.

How did we get to this point?
Where did we lose our fun and happiness in this time of year?
Or- did it become a self-fulfilling prophecy,
so we can only find and see whats missing?

Can you sense as depraved pattern of thinking here?
The sickness of it beginning when I was young-
that Christmas was all about me.
The gifts were meant to bring me personal happiness,
but if they werent good enough-
(like wanting a Nintendo game versus a board-game instead!)

We want so much for ourselves,
our way of doing things,
that we miss the opportunity to make Christmas about something more.

What if Christmas could become more about the giving than the receiving?

But even here we can become mislead into believing
that Christmas is only about the quality of gifts we give,
and the implied joy we want to see on the faces of our children,
later only to feel defeated when they seem disappointed in the same items.

And so here is my challenge I face today:
the giving of gifts represent 
what the three-wise men gave to the baby Jesus.
But what if these gifts were not the most important part of the story?
What if it was that they recognized the signs and made the journey?

The gift was received by these three in what they believed,
and the effort and time it took to make the journey.

What if your presence is more important to your child,
that any present you can give?

What if the thing missing at Christmas,
to make it more enjoyable and meaningful,
is the time and effort you are willing to give,
to those you love most?

Not more gifts, nor more parties,
but more Time together:
more intentional effort in playing, making things, and building memories.
Including one another by providing what people cannot do for themselves.

In the Past:
While I served in the military, the one thing I could give,
was to take the Christmas-day/eve duty for another who was married,
allowing him to be home with his family.

In the Future:
I want to find places where I can take my children,
where we can serve the needs of others on Christmas day/eve.
Serving hot-chocolate, providing a smile and a hug,
letting others know they are still worthwhile to us.

Think on This:
What if God in heaven has something good He wants to give you and me,
but we keep missing it because we focus only on what we want instead?

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