Twelve years ago, as the end-of-year holidays came and went, once again faster than I always, each year desire, I penned the following, slightly edited post. The sentiment remains. It also remains a good reminder of wisdom for far more than me…
Now that no more is hung by the chimney with care — and the words “hark” and “good tidings” will patiently await another year before rejoining our frequented vernacular, I’m wondering what’s new… what’s different… I mean if I truly believed that Christmas was the birth of the savior of the world or that each new year was a time to embrace all that’s new and good in the world, I think there’d be something in the magnitude of that remembrance that would change me…
Perhaps it’d be a new skip in my step during Monday’s workday.
Perhaps I’d hug my kids a little more tenderly and be more intentional in teaching them life’s greatest lessons.
Perhaps I’d let bygones actually be bygones.
Perhaps I wouldn’t be so quick to be offended by another.
Perhaps I’d watch what I post.
Perhaps I’d work a little harder on forgiving that one from whom I have long withheld forgiveness.
Perhaps I’d seek more to understand than to be understood.
Perhaps I’d realize that mercy always triumphs over judgment.
Perhaps I’d realize that a game is still only a game.
Perhaps I would refrain from worshipping anything other than Him (…that includes the idolization of any Grand Ole’ Party, a golden calf, a sports team, and/or any Presidential candidate…).
Perhaps I would refrain from demonizing anything other than the demonic (…that includes any Grand Ole’ Party, sports team, or Presidential candidate…).
Perhaps I would gain the humble confidence to tackle that destructive habit that has plagued me for years.
Perhaps I would surrender more challenges, recognizing that most things are out of my control.
And perhaps I would recognize that having things out of my control can be a very good thing.
A few short years ago, I prayed for a healthy child… or at least one that I considered healthy.
You know the prayer… “and Lord, I don’t really care if it’s a boy or a girl… tall or short… All I ask is that the baby is healthy, has no defects or disabilities… I can handle everything else from there.’
Well, God didn’t answer my prayer the way I asked. My child was not healthy by contemporary medical standards. He ‘failed’ his genetic test. My guess is he will ‘fail’ a few more future, supposed, cultural tests. But he is a kid who doesn’t allow all the crud of life to get in the way.
Where all the rest of us have trouble loving all those around us — because we allow appearance, arrogance, political standing or something to get in the way — young master Josh simply loves people where they’re at. Right now.
Josh recognizes the value of others, and he desires to encourage, to day-brighten, and yes, to warmly converse. What I’ve realized since is that Josh knows what it means to love — to love unconditionally — all around me — significantly better than me.
Thank God most things are out of my control. Thank God He didn’t answer that prayer the way it was prayed. Thank God, as songwriter Bruce Carroll wrote years ago, that ‘sometimes miracles hide.’
And one more thank you… thank God we can… I can… always… all of us… if willing… can still be changed.”