Cratchity… December 20, 2012

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You know the story.  A cheap skate named Ebenezer Scrooge, living in Old London Town, who hates Christmas and has an equal disdain for all humanity, is visited supernaturally by three ghosts who convince him of the error of his ways, transforming him into a regenerated soul.

Scrooge, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Car...

Scrooge, from Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. With Illustrations by John Leech. London: Chapman & Hall, 1843. First edition. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s my question: Why couldn’t Bob Cratchit perform this mission?Why do we continue to promote a religiosity that waits for the heavens to change our earthly circumstance when it’s quite clear that the Divine intends for His followers be the thrust?

Bob Cratchit worked for Scrooge for years. Yet he left the man untouched, unchanged and I believe, unimpressed. As you follow the story, you realize that Bob Cratchit had no way of impacting Ebenezer Scrooge, because when his “cratchity Christianity came up against the crotchety nature of Scrooge, he wilted. Bob Cratchit was a man who believed that being spiritual was suffering in silence. He felt there was some sort of heavenly reward in being miserable. He believed that salvation had robbed him of the voice to cry in the wilderness.

But being human, he complained to his wife and children about his plight at work. In other words, he may have suffered silently in front of Scrooge, but he undercut his employer at home in front of his family. He was unhappy because he had settled–he had settled for less than what he needed to provide for his family. He had settled for a small goose for his dinner table. And he had settled for hoping for a cure for Tiny Tim instead of ferociously pursuing every medical possibility that existed.

We know this because when Scrooge is redeemed, he brings his business prowess to his newfound life and ends up being able to help Tiny Tim. Once Bob Cratchit decided to settle, he took on the profile of one who endures. After all, what could he do? It not only left him dissatisfied, teaching his children that they were the victims of the harsh culture of capitalism, but the lack of confrontation with his boss left Ebenezer damned.

If it had not been for Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, the old man would have had no point of reference for anyone who was of the faith and also successful. Fred was even able to help Bob Cratchit by offering an apprenticeship to his son. Fred joyously bounces into Scrooge’s office to invite him to dinner, deflecting all of the “bah-humbugs” in the air. Fred had a different philosophy:

  1. He found his choice. He wanted to be happy with Christmas.
  2. He made it work. He not only celebrated himself, but challenged a reluctant uncle and pre-softened his heart for the arrival of the ghosts.
  3. He turned joy into happiness. Joy is when we take what we have and find an ingenious way to turn it into a happy moment.
  4. Fred inherited the earth. He got his friends, Christmas, family–and outlasted the meanness of Uncle Scrooge. He beat him. Because when all was said and done, Scrooge ate dinner at Fred’s house.

“Cratchity Christianity” will never address a crotchety crustiness. It will take a “Fred faith”–as we find our choice, make it work, turn joy into happiness and inherit the earth.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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