I had a moment this morning. Actually, I had several, but two in particular stirred some very powerful emotions inside of me.
Please allow me a few minutes of your time to explain.
The day started, as it so often does, with a review of the morning newswires including a quick scan of my phone's AP app, five minutes of Twitter, daily updates on LinkedIn and my family GroupMe, hoping to catch the latest pictures of my grandchildren or family news.
Today was a full day!
First, I was blessed to come across a blog post by Jason Soroski on Crosswalk entitled “The Moment You Never Noticed in A Charlie Brown Christmas” - the Peanuts’ holiday special that I have watched annually EVERY YEAR since it debuted. A quick read of the article and you can do the math concerning my age from there.
In a world that is seemingly teetering on the brink before, during and between every news cycle and in the midst of a holiday season that has gotten lost in our vain attempt to “show our love” for others by maxing out our credit cards, this simple passage from Luke 2:8-14 continues to hit that spot in my soul that only God knows about:
And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings o great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.”
That is absolutely more easily said than done.
It’s been a challenging year. Actually, it’s been a challenging couple of years.
All too often I’ve allowed myself to wallow in the moment and feel sorry for my circumstance, personally and professionally, only to be brought back to reality through the innocent eyes of my grandchildren, or the support and reassurance from the most important people in my life.
The holidays should be among the most joyous times of the year, a chance to take stock of what’s important in our lives, sharing memories with family and friends, embracing the spirit of the season and looking forward with hopeful anticipation to the year ahead.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case and it seems to get harder each and every year.
I’m convinced that every generation bemoans the loss of innocence that comes with the aging process, but as I’m sure has been said many times before, this time it really does seem different.
I never missed a day of school because of a bomb threat, wondered what type of ideology was being practiced in that other church down the street, worried if my hover board was going to burn down the house, debated the need for a two-week conference on changing our habits before the world grows too hot for our continued existence, watched four hours of bloviating from mindless automatons who have memorized talking points that are supposed to resonate with the core constituency, searched online endlessly trying to find the perfect gift that includes a coupon code for free shipping, and unfortunately wished that Christmas would hurry up and get over with.
Enter Linus and his blanket and a reminder of what this time of year is supposed to mean. Much like the replay button on the DVR, I am requesting a reset from the beginning of the program.
With much anticipation, I look forward to embracing the true meaning of Christmas during the final ten days ahead. No more shopping. No more wasted energy worrying about things I cannot control. No more time with politics, for now.
It’s time for God. It’s time for family. It’s time for me. Although I’m not sure what that last part even means.
I said that I had two “moments” earlier in this post, but I have gotten so lost in this one that I have run out of time for the second. It is, however, equally important and of great impact. So I shall reserve that thought for its own post later.
In the meantime, thank you Linus for reminding me what Christmas is really all about.
Angel Visits the Shepherds courtesy of Gospel Gifs
Schulz, C. (Writer), & Melendez, B. (Director). (1965). A Charlie Brown Christmas [Television series episode]. In L. Mendelson (Executive producer), Peanuts. Los Angeles, CA: Columbia Broadcasting System.
GOP debate photograph courtesy ABC News,. 2015. Web. 16 Dec. 2015.