First let me say this first opening paragraph is a JOKE...and exaggeration....hyperbole for the purpose of making a point. Okay? I want to kidnap the president and CEO of Pillsbury and set them free only when they can get two dozen cookies out of a single role of dough. I don’t think it’s possible. Also as a note to Mr Ben and Mr Jerry, we have two very different ideas about what is considered a "serving." AND whomever builds artificial Christmas trees is a ninja or origami. How does a 7 foot tree grow? It came out of the box it MUST be able to go back in, right?
Needless to say I’ve spent some time lately trying to repackage our Christmas tree. There was much swearing and duct tape.
I had a great deal of trouble finding my Christmas spirit this year. I work for a church. I’m familiar with the lessons. I listened to the music....new stuff as well as classic. I sang along with my favorite James Taylor Christmas CD. I watched Christmas special. I could not find my Christmas spirit. I kept waiting for that “Lights Please?” moment when the little kid with the blanket would come out onto the stage, make his meaningful speech and then say, “and that’s what Christmas is all about, Steve.”
My family has had some health problems this year. Also unemployment seems to be rampant in our house. I spent a lot of time faking it. Like a Christmas version of Dexter. (By the way, thank you Netflix for taking off Dexter just when I discovered it and was nearly through watching season 1.)
So I spent some time in my garage binding up the Christmas tree. The box is long gone. I now slide the pieces into lawn garbage bangs and then bind them with duct tape. Then get my son to muscle them up into the attic.
It was kind of therapeutic. I just wanted to be rid of it. For the first time that I can remember, taking the ornaments off the tree was better than putting them on. It wasn’t like I was yanking the tiny little ceramic angles off the branch and hurling them against the wall. I placed all the ornaments gently on the table where they were later carefully wrapped in tissue paper and placed in the box till next year. Putting Christmas away was good for me this year. No, I'm not saying I'm shoving God up into my attic or shoving Jesus into the tomb. I'm saying I'm putting away "Christmas"...not putting away Christmas. (Not of typo. Some of you caught that.) I’m not looking at Happy New Year as the end of the Holiday. I’m looking at it as the beginning of the new year.
I have a friend who tells me the pendulum can only swing so far one way before it as to come back. I think the pendulum is stuck. It has to swing back. So the decorations are put away. My house looks normal again. Let’s move on, shall we? Forward and forward.
I heard an amazing interview recently with Bobby McFerrin who said he prays the Psalms every morning as part of his own spiritual discipline. I’m going to try that this year. I love the psalms. Ask any of my students. We almost always start with the Psalms. There are a few, written most likely by David that talk about coming out of a cave or looking up and seeing the light at the top of the deep hole. Psalm 18 and 124. Then we hit Psalm 144. Psalm 145 through 150 are happy and joyous. I feel like I’m pushing my way through 144 and breaking into 145 will be like the football players bursting through the paper hoop the cheerleaders made.
God is the tallest building.
I’m standing on the roof looking over the city.
God supports me
Lifts me high
Keeps me from falling.
From here those that come after me are ants.
They cannot hurt me
From here I can throw things down and they will scatter.
What are we to you, God?
Were just a bunch of screw-ups.
Why do you love us like children.
We must be such a disappointment.
I’m going to write a song for God
Paint a picture
Write a poem
Play my guitar
Some never heard or seen before
I am not like them, God.
I will be the kind of person you want me to be.
Then my life will be good.
I will have a happy family.
Friends who respect me and support me.
You are God.
You are the only one.
Those that understand this simple idea
Will receive all you have to give to them.
Amen and Amen.
So here we go. Act as if ye have faith and faith shall be given unto you. Fake it till you make it. Start the cheering....