"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." ~Lin Yutang

Saturday, December 21, 2013

this time of year

you wouldn't believe what I said last night.  I mean, if you know me, you (hopefully) know that i'm patient.  if i'm not anything else... I am patient.  I also try to be exceptionally forgiving, and I think I do alright.  I also like to exhibit love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and of course self-control.
so with that in mind, i'll say again, you wouldn't BELIEVE what I said to my husband last night.

here, first i'll set the stage.  we were sitting in traffic on a busy street bordering the mall at about 6pm on a snowy evening.  we hadn't had dinner yet, it was still in the oven at home.  we had just left a major department store after spending about 1-1/2 hours and some gift cards that we had been given to spend on the kids for Christmas.  nothing was happening, we were just sitting there probably with Christmas music playing on the radio. 
anyway, enough for-talk, what I said was this, "I hate people this time of year."


I know, I know...  I felt bad as soon as I said it, but it was indeed from my heart. 

what happens "this time of year" is that everyone gets so wrapped up in all the stress that people have made the Christmas season out to be, that instead of a wonderful celebration of our Lord and Savior's birth, our culture places parties, dinners, shopping, events, and stress all ahead of the celebration.  and what's really sad is that they look past the stress and horrible attitudes and blame it all on "the spirit of giving".  the thing is, there is nothing wrong with the spirit of giving.  but when it causes stress, discontent, unhappiness, and financial distress there is something wrong with it and it is not okay, even though it is a good initial intent. 
in all the other months of the year, people have a bit of humanity in them.  of course not all people, but a good enough majority that you can kind of expect some good in people.  it seems like as soon as December hits, and especially after the 15th, all the good in humanity leaves and is replaced by impatient, inconsiderate, unforgiving, stressed out frazzle-heads! 

I don't hate people, I love people.  however, I hate what people have turned the Christmas season into.  I really don't like that a good portion of society turns up their noses to Christmas carols.  I really don't like to deal with impatient, inconsiderate, unforgiving, stressed-out frazzle-heads that are so wrapped up in "the spirit of giving" that they can't see past themselves.  I really don't like to get honked at when I slow down so that my car-load of kidlets can get a good look at the beautiful lights.  I don't like it when my kindergartener is excited to come home and bash my 4-y-o's ideas of holiday traditions because it's more important to "know the truth" than to remember the generosity of a saint that lived long ago.  I don't like it when I am cautiously driving and I get a finger thrown up at me (or a dirty look given) because i'm not driving fast enough, or slow enough, or stopping where people would prefer me to, or whatever other reason might trigger anger in someone so stressed out that they're just LOOKING for reasons to release their pent up aggression. 

I DO LOVE the Son who came down to this rotten place to live as we live, and then died in a humiliating and grotesque death... to save the sins of all these people that I have mentioned above, and including me. 
I LOVE the Christmas season.  I LOVE the carols reminding us of the virgin birth, the lowly manger birth place, the bright star that guided the shepherds, the gifts that traveled far to find Jesus as a young boy, the excitement that just hung in the air around the Messiah, the names of Jesus (Savior, Lord, Christ, King of Kings, Messiah, Immanuel).  I LOVE the Christmas decorations that bring cheer and happiness to those who gaze at their beauty.  I LOVE that we have a desire to celebrate the spirit of giving even though we are so selfish in our core of sinfulness.  I LOVE that Jesus' birth --the best gift that has ever been given-- is the season that we celebrate giving. 

if you're stressed, over-worked, too busy to be waiting on anyone, or angry just waiting for someone to raise your middle finger at, remember the true reason we have this season:  a baby was born to us, and his name was called Jesus and it was he who saved us from our sins.  MERRY CHRISTMAS!  may you give glad tidings and share great joy with those around you.  start by putting a smile on your face. 
"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 1 Cor. 10:31

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