saying in Texas goes, "if you don't like the
weather, wait fifteen minutes." We've had it
all this week. A beautiful 80 degree Spring
day. Followed by torrential rain.
Followed by a crisp and clear Fall night. And
we're expecting ice or sleet in the next day or so.
Yes, sometimes the weather in Texas changes by the
minute. Sometimes by the day. But one
thing is certain about the Texas climate: you
can never, ever really predict it.
for life, I suppose. I think a holiday time
brings this out in folks. And especially at
Christmas. I'm sure we've all experienced it.
Sometimes we're "on." We're excited about
Christmas. We've got that holiday spirit.
And sometimes, it sneaks up on us, we're feeling
rather bah-humbugish, and would just assume that the
holiday pass on by that year and leave us out of it.
we can look to our circumstances to see how they
might play a role in our attitude about Christmas.
I confess to you that I have let circumstances
determine my level of holiday hurrah. Two
I was struggling to begin this ministry without a
clue as to how to do it; money was tight; and I had
just suffered significant burns to my hand, causing
me serious pain and concern. I think I had
joined the contingent of folks that year who
claimed, "I'm not really celebrating Christmas this
year. I'm not even going to put up a
tree." Fast forward one year to last
Christmas: the ministry had begun taking a shape
(although, it is ever-changing); I was surrounded by
family; and a new relationship was blooming.
An exciting time, and I was excited about Christmas
Maybe. Human? Definitely.
I know all about Christmas. About the meaning
of the celebration. About the joy we should
feel as Christians celebrating the gift of the
Christ child. I know that Christmas is not
really about gift-giving, tree-trimming, doting
loved ones, family frenzy, and over-indulgence in
egg nog and glazed ham. But such traditions
bring comfort and reassurance, and when any part of
them is missing, it is easy to feel flat about the
holiday-- to simply be spiritually "off." And,
I don't know about you, but when I'm feeling "off,"
I tend to feel a bit guilty. As a Christian,
shouldn't I always be excited about Christmas, at
least if I've got the right perspective about
break the holiday funk? Take comfort in
knowing you are not any less of a good person
because you're feeling unenthused about Christmas.
There are numerous examples in the Bible about the
spiritually bereft who bemoan their lot in life,
only to make an about face. It is human
nature. Like the Texas weather, our lots in
life cannot be predicted. They may change day
by day, week by week, or even year by year.
But they will change. Our circumstances
will change and we'll encounter a spiritual blue
sky kind of day.
to break the holiday funk? Take comfort in
knowing that God loves you so very much that he sent
Christ to live in this world as a human. Just
like you and me. To experience times of being
"on" and "off;" to feel the pressure of
circumstances; to experience pain and disappointment
and loneliness; to model for us living a life in
perspective, but fully recognizing we won't always
get it right. Take comfort in knowing that,
because of this Christ child, we have been given the
tremendous gift of changing what would have
otherwise been our lot in life. Surely, that
is reason enough to celebrate Christmas.
Blessed Christmas to you.
Grace and peace
to you as you journey.
Yours in Christ,