Today, the first snow fell. I’m still in denial. To me, snow is an ending of all things warm; flip-flops, open windows, short sleeves, iced tea, lemonade, ice cream, and sunshine.
As I was thinking about Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all things holiday related, my mind flipped into utter denial/refusal. I don’t like the “busy-ness,” the hustle and bustle of stores drive me mad. Don’t even get me started on Christmas decorations and music before Thanksgiving is over!
I did a lot of my shopping online this year, but the stores were calling, groceries needed to be got, and Christmas gifts needed to be finished. (Don’t add in week before Christmas shopping, or you’ll have the real life Grinch on your hands!)
So, Saturday morning rolled around, and I bit the bullet and drove to town. Several stores were hit by my presence, and as I was maddingly trying to find all the things on my list, shoving my cart down aisle after aisle, I was struck by a thought.
The thought was simply this, “How blessed I am.” I have a family that is whole, complete, and loved by each other. I have people to spend the holidays with. People who love me, friends who care. What more could I want? Why focus on all I wish I had–more free time, more things, more this, more that, a bigger bank account, some extra stuff, more tit, more tat, when really the focus should be off myself, and on others.
There are people who are not near as blessed as I am, who are going through harder things than I ever have, and here I sit, fussing about things that don’t really matter.
There are people who don’t have a home to live in. People who have a leaky roof above their heads. (or none at all) People who have no food to eat and have to spend their lives begging for every morsel they get.
There are people spending their first holidays without someone they love. People reliving the memories they have, and realizing that’s all they have anymore–memories.
There are people without Jesus, who have no reason to celebrate, except all the empty celebrations that go on, that are meaningless. What are they living for? How do they have a goal or purpose in life?
There are people like me, with so many blessings, we take them for granted. There are people like me, who are learning (once again) what Thanksgiving/Christmas are all about. There are people like me who are realizing (once again) how blessed we are. There are people like me who are learning that we have a purpose in all this. We can be a friend to the friendless, lift these people in prayer, spending time talking to the One who came as a baby, starting Christmas. This is the true reason.
Give of yourself to others this year. If you are blessed, let’s start an epidemic of blessing others. Find the ways you can help others. And best of all, once you have the idea, DO IT! (And who knows, maybe tomorrow, I’ll be blaring Christmas music :), and actually being happy about it)