BY: John Carey
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: Matthew 6:34: Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious about itself.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Christmas is by far my favorite holiday… the family, the food, the gifts, and the food. I mean who doesn’t just love Christmas? Christmas has always been the most wonderful time of the year, except for about 1 hour and fifteen minutes this past Tuesday.
Last Tuesday I found myself where absolutely no man wants to be. I found myself in the back of the enormous line in Bass Pro Shop waiting to see jolly ol’ Saint Nick. The line itself was horrible but the events that took place in that hour were the things that turned this Christmas lover into Scrooge himself (not the weird animated Scrooge, but the old school Charles Dickens Scrooge with the epic sideburns). Picture this: I’m in a long line with my 2 hoodlum kids (who just for the record have no patience and are spazzes just like their mom). Two spaces up is a baby that won’t stop screaming and directly behind me was a woman who was crunching on a bag of wavy Lays potato chips. (This is what I think the Bible means by gnashing of teeth!) Lets just say I went from holiday cheer to ready to punch a reindeer in the throat in a matter of 5 minutes. We finally make it to Santa, just to be told by his wonderful helpers that we couldn’t take a picture with our phones and that if we wanted their picture it would only cost us $19.99. To make matters even worse my kids froze up when they saw Santa and said absolutely nothing! You would have thought they had just met MC Hammer the way they just sat and stared!
A one hour and 15 minute wait for a 45-second encounter with Bass Pro Shop Santa changed with four words. As we were about to leave my daughter, Shelby, ran over to Santa gave him a hug and said, “I love you Santa!” Instantaneously, my attitude changed and the trip was well worth the hassle.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: There is something about the Christmas season that makes me slow down my crazy life and truly appreciate all that God has blessed my family with. But I also realize that I don’t need a holiday to truly appreciate all He has done. What if we treated every day like Christmas? What if we did random acts of kindness 365 days a year? What if we celebrated the birth of our Savior daily? What if I made giving the number one priority in my life and focused on what I could do for others instead of just getting through the day? The answer? The world would be a much better place. The challenge for me is simple. Do not let my everyday experiences overwhelm me to the point where I miss the everyday miracles.
PRAYER: God, I thank you for the Christmas season but more so I thank you for the other 364 days that you have allowed me to grow. I pray that during this season that we remove all the distractions and focus solely on You.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
John Carey is a husband, father, pastor, eater of candy canes, and world class ugly Christmas sweater designer.