Friday, October 29, 2010

Execute or Experience?

It’s time for a re-post.  For me.  Because some of my closest friends take their precious time to read what floats through my mind, I want those special gals to hold this one gal accountable.  I wrote this last January after I sat back and thought about my personal Christmas season.  We finished celebrating Brighton’s birthday a few days ago so my thoughts turned toward His birthday-- and I got butterflies.  I post it now- the end of October-- in hopes that it may encourage you (and me) to pray and to make plans for this to be a Christmas we ponder The Great Miracle.  So below are my thoughts from last year and my prayer for this year.





There’s something sad about a Christmas tree after Christmas. It’s empty underneath except for the few ornaments that have fallen through the branches and were never re-secured. The tree skirt is all wocky-jawed, sprinkled with sheddings. Even switching on the lights doesn't bring it to life like it did before December the 25th. I’ve never liked coming home to a post-Christmas house. The energy is spent, the anticipation has vanished and the opportunities of the season are lost..... until next year, that is. If I had the stamina of Tigger and the time of Mr. Magoo, I would try to take all the decorations down before we left for Georgia so I wouldn’t have to come home to it, but that would have a sadness all its own. Unfortunately, this year I found out there is something much more depressing. Personally, I had some regrets this Christmas. It’s hard to type, but it’s the truth.

As I was falling asleep one night last week, I had the thought that maybe I had celebrated this Christmas like a pagan. Not my best bedtime thought. This string of thoughts was worse than any night time parenting regret I’ve ever had. I can try to be a better parent when the sun rises. With Christmas, I have to wait a whole year to do it differently. I’ve often wondered what this particular holiday was like for people who don’t know Christ personally. I would think it would seem like a heap of trouble and a major hurting on the bank account and all for what? For who? Ourselves? Ick.
What did I do? I executed Christmas without actually experiencing it. I decorated my house for the celebration of His birth. I talked about Him. I listened to songs about Him. I saw things that represented Him in my home. I made a cake for Him. I even read about Him.......to my children. However, I don’t think I ever really entered in. I didn’t make time to enter in, to ponder, to reflect. And I regret it. Immensely. I feel I suffered the consequences for days before I realized my sin. I made my choices every day, the main one being execution instead of experiencing which forced me to land on the other side of Christmas empty.
What will I do next year? The thing is, there’s no magic formula. There is no “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” list I will check off next year and how absurd would that be anyway? It’s my choice of how I spend the hours that make up the season. It’s my choice whether or not I want to include the “execution of Christmas” on my list of “pass on’s” to my kids instead of the “experience of Christmas”.
My obvious prayer for next year will be all about “experience”. I don’t want a repeat. I suspect we will do a lot of the same things, but, personally, I want to experience them differently, from a better perspective, with a heart that’s close to bursting with anticipation. He may ask me to change some things. He may not, but whatever He asks, I will do. When we pull into our garage after our time in Georgia in 2010, I don’t want the lifeless tree to be a sight to avoid but one to see and relish the time I chose to ponder and to experience Him, my Savior and my Deliverer from my sins. So be it.

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