Monday, November 29, 2010

What I Can Learn From "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens

The Christmas season is officially here. I know because yesterday I watched "a Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. I always kick off the season that way.  I watched a 1955 black and white version. It was fabulous. Then as if that wasn't enough, I watched "A Muppet's Christmas Carol" on television as well. I know, I know. Hugh difference in the story telling between the two, but the same story and lesson for both.

As I watched Scrooge, and his sour, selfish ways, I saw some people I know. That's when I knew I was in trouble. When I see negative things about others, but fail to have a lesson taught to me, my heart is not in a good place. So I did an inventory of myself, in light of the three Christmas Spirits and Scrooge. This is what I found.

When I look at Christmas' of my past, I see some years where Jesus was NOT the focus. I see a child who got everything she asked for, but was never taught it wasn't about her. I was not told Christmas was truly about the Lord of the Universe.
As I grew older and met Jesus, married and started a family, my Christmas' of the past changed. Even though I taught my children all about the Lord of the Universe, I fell into the materialistic trap of making the day 90% about the kids and 10% about Jesus.
My heart changed and was convicted until the day really became all about loving people and pointing them to Jesus.

When I look at the Christmas of the present, I see a very large crowd. It gets bigger each year. We will have six children, two spouses, six grandchildren and one mother-in-love, besides my husband and myself on Christmas Day. We will worship, we will share a meal, we will fellowship, we will give gifts to one another. I am also looking beyond my family for someone who needs a special blessing. You see this year we will do something we call "the Twelve days of Christmas" for someone. For twelve days leading up to Christmas Eve, we will show up each day sing that day of the song and presenting a small gift of some kind. I choose to do this to make sure I keep the focus of Christmas on Jesus and the special gift of His life He chose to give.  It is easy to get wrapped up in our own "present" and not choose to be a gift to others. I have today to make a difference. Scrooge reminded me of that loud and clear.

Christmas Future? I really have no idea what next Christmas will hold. Except that I pray, I have set an example to my family of what it really should be about, and they choose to focus on Jesus. I don't even have a guarantee that there will be another Christmas.

I will choose to live in the present, forget about the mistakes of the past, and only concern myself with the One who holds my future.

The nice thing is, just like with Scrooge, everyday we have an opportunity to change our minds and do what is right. After all, that is the true story and meaning of Christmas. Jesus came so we could have a changed life in Him. He gives hope, the ability to live a new life and the assurance of eternity spent with Him.

You see, Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the Spirit of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future.

I will keep Chasing Their Hearts, even with jingle bells on!

Chasing After Their Hearts,
Glenda Johnson

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