Friday, December 30, 2011

If You Believe

It doesn't seem to matter how old I get, I still enjoy the magic of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a child. I don't want the day to come when our little ones do not think Santa is real. I don't want the moment to arrive when they question the birth of our Saviour. I don't want the sun to rise without their little feet trying to figure out where Simon has gone. I don't want a Christmas Eve to end without singing Silent Night like a lullaby to one of my grandchildren. It has been a wonderful season, and as I listened to the last of the holiday carols on the radio this afternoon, I was doing some reflecting on what the year, 2011, has meant to us as a family. I asked myself a question: What did I not accomplish in 2011 that I really meant to do? The obvious answers come to mind: lose weight, save money, clean the garage. But thinking of the less obvious answers should give me a glimpse of my own stumbling blocks, weaknesses, or perhaps miscontrued views of what God has called me to do. My prayer for 2012 is that I truly focus on His will, believe in His purpose with all my heart, and put this gift of faith to work for His glory.

I had a chance to spend Christmas Eve with friends that I hadn't seen in a couple of years, and they have always considered it a privilege that they have provided a home for their mentally handicapped sibling. He is now 68. Other families might have put him in a nursing home, or a center for the mentally retarded, but not this family. They believe he has blessed them, not the other way around. And with all his heart, this man nearing 70 years of age believes that Santa comes every year. He cannot tell time, but asks how long it will be before Santa arrives. He cannot read, but he examines the pictures in the Christmas story, taking in the simplicity of the manger, the inn, the oxen. I watch him as he carefully puts the pieces of a puzzle together, trusting that the whole will be greater than its parts. He has never lost his child-like faith. How I envy his view of this season. He knows that if you believe, he will come. And he knows that if you believe, He will come.

I have a lot to learn from him. I think we all do. In 2012, may we find our faith stirred, not shaken. May we find grace in the journey, and the destination. And may we love unconditionally, following the example so generously bestowed on us every day, in every season.