A Season for the Reason … December 7, 2011

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Live from Fernandina Beach

Frantic isn’t sexy. Frantic isn’t fun. Worse, frantic is never productive.

On those rare occasions when I find myself late, driving somewhere, the first thing I do is take my watch off and set it aside and refuse to deal with time anymore. Honestly, I’m not going to get there any faster by wondering how late I am and I greatly increase the possibility for calamity by fretting and becoming frantic.

I know religious people think there’s not enough Jesus in Christmas–and average folks think they just don’t have time for Christmas–especially this year, when we’re supposed to think about politics and economic issues while considering the birth of the Prince of Peace and the fifty per cent off sales at the mall. 

No, nothing works in life unless you set aside a season FOR your reason. Nothing happens of any true quality unless you’re willing to participate instead of just watch or surround yourself with the experience.

Sitting in a church on Sunday morning listening to people sing Christmas carols, I was astounded at how such invigorating lyrics and jubilant notions could dwell in such a monotone drone. It’s not that the people don’t believe in what they’re singing–it’s just that in the midst of “step three” of their day, they’re already contemplating “step five.” How can step three be any fun if the aggravation of a fifth step is already gnawing at the corners of your mind?

Christmas probably brings one of the greatest potentials for real emotion, nostalgia and rebirth that comes across the calendar each year. But merely acknowledging the need to buy gifts–or even the gift of God’s son in a manger–does not make the experience ample.  Everything of value in life has to be valued. To do that we have to set aside a season for the reason.

You don’t have to do it every day–but one day during the Christmas season you should participate in three activities which will transform your holiday from a race into an experience:

1. Go out to a Christmas tree farm. Park your car and sit and watch people buy their trees for thirty minutes. They usually bring children who are hopping around, who remind you of the enthusiasm you once had for the whole experience of a cut-down pine which ended up stuck in your living room with lights on it.

2. Drive from the Christmas tree farm over to your local homeless shelter. Take along a fifty dollar check that you were foolishly going to spend on someone who really won’t care one way or another. Ask them to give you a fifteen-minute tour of their facility. Shake some hands. Taste the chicken salad they’re serving for lunch. Stay for the meal, if you can. And at the end, give them the fifty dollar check and thank them for their work.

3. End the day by going to the mall and buying yourself a peppermint sundae with hot fudge on it. Sit on a bench real close to the Santa Claus Exposition. Just observe the children sitting on the old man’s knee. Let the memories return. Let the feeling of the reason re-occur to your aching spirit.

Nothing happens when we’re frantic. Nobody is blessed by an explanation of how important something is–not until we set aside a season for the reason do we remind ourselves of the beauty of honoring the Birth of Hope. It’ll just take a morning. It’s your way of reclaiming your life from a schedule often not of your own making–and certainly not ordained in the mind of God.

So Merry Christmas–and do yourself the greatest blessing of all.

Go out there and make a season for the reason.

***************

Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great post. I found it while tag surfing, as today I’d written a post that included the words “the reason for the season doesn’t do it for me anymore”. Your points are good one – we need to create the cheer in our hearts.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Nancy
    http://dogear6.com/2011/12/08/provoking-thoughts-about-christmas/

    Like

  2. Great ideas, Jon! Probably I won’t go to the Christmas tree farm, though there is one up Hwy. 27, but I will go to The Shelter, where I have helped serve meals in past years! Our Shelter is a mainstay for Tallahassee’s homeless and serves a great need! God Bless!!

    Like


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