Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Pondering Holidays . . .

There is such excitement that surrounds Thanksgiving.  So many people wrapped up in preparing the big Thanksgiving meal, others looking forward to being with family, the football games, while others are counting the moments till 'black Friday' shopping sales!  Thanksgiving seems to be about different things to different people.  But in all truth, it should be impossible for us to focus on anything other than God . . . our Father, the Provider of all.  

Thanksgiving is always a time of reflection for me.  I remember my childhood holidays, the huge meal, fun, and most of all knowing it kicks off the holiday seasons.  But as an adult my thoughts are overwhelmed with Jesus.  What is the evidence that God is number one in my life? It's a question that I ponder a lot! If He is truly the priority, how should I be acting? What should I be doing? What should my life look like? Is there any evidence to support my claim that He is everything? Ever ask yourself these questions? They're serious questions!

Being a child of God radically changed things . . . The work of the Holy Spirit has changed how I live, act and relate to this world. The questions are endless, what is it like to really love your neighbor as yourself? Lately I have entertained these thoughts during my many sleepless nights.  But in all truth, they have existed every since I gave my heart to the Lord many years ago as a child. 

This question of loving the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind really became overwhelming in 2006 after my beloved step-son passed away from esophageal cancer. In a matter of 5 1/2 months I watched our family care about nothing else but him. Everyday was filled with desperation to keep him alive. Then after his passing, nothing seemed to be the same. There are no possessions, or places to go, or things to do that could replace the loss of him. Nor could I look at the world and all its glitter in the same way. Although we learn to go on, nothing could take his place. In time we'd return to our lives again. But make no mistake, we are never the same, because such a loss changes who we are.

Overwhelmed after loss, the magnitude of how much we love becomes so much clearer. Not only the loss of the person is beyond words, but everything changes. There's an emptiness from no longer being in their presence and sharing life with them.  We come to understand how much of a priority they truly were. So in those late hours of restlessness, a more important question arose, what would be the loss if Jesus Christ was not my Lord and Savior? What would be the loss from not having a personal relationship with the Lord of Lord, King of Kings?    This was impossible to really grasp, yet it was the most important question of my life!

As the death of my step-son changed everything, then surely the greatest, the most divine love and sacrifice (ever) of Christ dying on the cross for our sins should overwhelmingly alter everything about us.  There's nothing that compares to such a love!   Jesus is what Christian's should be thinking about on Thanksgiving, JESUS!

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