Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Change in Attitude by JoAnn Lampe

HOT – HOT – HOT. It was late August and the temperatures had been hovering at 100 degrees for a couple of weeks. The humidity levels in the Piedmont region of North Carolina were running about 80 percent; to say it was hot and muggy was putting it mildly.

I strolled through the aisles of the store, wandering aimlessly, putting off the inevitable return to my sweltering car.
School supplies were dwindling from the shelves; school had been back in session for a couple of weeks, and the “Back to School” rush was over for another year. I rounded the next corner and “what to my wondering eyes should appear?” A sleigh and eight tiny reindeer! What? Christmas already – it’s not even Labor Day! Oh, this is TOO much, just too much; if we’re not careful we’ll wake up one day and find that there’s a permanent Christmas aisle in the stores.

We’ll have “seasonal Santas,” with elves in “Speedos’ and Santa in his gardening clothes planting the summer garden! AHHHHHH!!!!! Like Charley Brown, I just can’t stand it!

As the summer fades and turns to fall, more and more Christmas items start to appear on the shelves, and by Halloween, it’s almost full fledged Christmas mania; one radio station is even playing Christmas carols on Halloween weekend.

I grumble and groan, dismissing the insanity of the season, becoming more and more like Ebenezer Scrooge with each passing day. “Bah Humbug!” I mutter over and over.

As November appears, I begin to ponder my attitude. Why am I so angry at the appearance of what should be the holiday I celebrate with great joy? For many, it’s all about Santa Clause and Happy “Holidays,” the giving and receiving of gifts—the only “wonder” for them comes at the end of the month when they wonder where all their money went. But, for me, this is Christmas, the time I celebrate the birth of God’s son, Jesus. Jesus, who was and is the best gift of all, the “eternal” gift given to a sin-filled world, so that we could be reconciled to God, the Father. Without Jesus, I have no peace, no comfort, no love.

I realize that as much as I disdain it, I get caught up in the Christmas frenzy, wanting to “shop ‘til I drop,” but the last five years I have been economically “challenged” and I’ve been reducing my debt, not increasing it.

So, I see all the pretty decorations, the abundance of gifts and the marvelous sale prices and I have to walk on by. It peeves me and I realize it hardens my heart. If I can’t go out and buy, then why should I bother? But this year, I’m changing my attitude, “It’s all about you, Jesus, it’s all about you.” And so I’ll put up a tree and decorate with my old, but still pretty ornaments, and that will represent God’s provision in my life. I’ll take the time to write a note to those friends and family who are near and dear to my heart, I’ll provide an encouraging word and a dose of hope along with my good cheer.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18 He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.  James 1:17
And most of all, I will remember that this is a season of abundance – abundant life, abundant hope, abundant joy – all wrapped up in a small baby boy, born in a manger over 2,000 years ago. A gift of tremendous proportions, the best gift ever: Jesus.

Merry Christmas one and all!

Luke 2: 8 – 14:
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

JoAnn, mother of two married daughters, lives in Concord, NC where she works for a bank, is active in her church, does volunteer work, and enjoys her grandson.
Scripture Reading:
Hebrews; James; Proverbs 24-26
Key passage for devotion: James 1:17

1 comment:

  1. This is great! Good stuff to think about and well written.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...