Last night we headed out to our church home for the annual Christmas Pageant and my son and I decided to engage in our little game. The pageant was completely sold out and the seats were nearly full. So, I'll be kind and say we're talking about a couple hundred people (in reality, that should be multiplied). I asked my son to count the smiling faces and he counted 6 and 1/2. The half was a lady whom he could not fully see.
After making this not-so-startling discovery, I asked him what he did notice about all the others. He said they seemed impatient and unhappy. Most were waiting for the show to start, some were barking orders about seats, and other were simply frowning. In the most joyous time of year, there seemed to be far too much bitterness amongst us all...
To me, this begs the question: Why the long face? Now, I get it. I don't know your life, but I would venture a guess as to the fact that you don't know mine either. In fact, many of us are blithely unaware of each others plights and struggles. I find it interesting that those who live with a pessimistic view of the world see those of us who seem happy as not having any problems to deal with. In reality, it is not the problems that are the problem...it's our mindset.
How do you handle the magnifying glass of the Christmas season? Do you hold tight to grudges you should have let go long ago? Do you intensify feeling of loneliness by cutting others off from your life? Do you try to make up for a years worth of bad attitudes by going "schedule crazy" in December? Or do you get into debt up to your eyeballs trying to buy favor from others? What do you find your heart all wrapped up in this Christmas?
I believe the key to a fulfilling season is found in the chasm of our mind. For example, if we only focus on how others have done us wrong we will eventually reap the bitter seeds we sow in our hearts. What's worse is the only one we hurt is ourselves. So what do we turn our mind to? I find my answer in the book of Isaiah.