Worth it ?…..YES!

Another New year…I say so what. It is something that happens every twelve months if we celebrate or not. If we have a party, sing Auld Lang Syne, blow horns, watch a big shinny ball or pelican drop in the town square or not, guess what a new year comes anyway.  So, in light of that what are we to do? Make some resolutions that we may or may not stick with?

I say the new year is a time for reflection more than celebrations. Did we help the poor? Did we feed the hungry, clothe the naked and heal the sick? I know I didn’t. 2009 was a year all about me. My job, my bills, my family, my my my my my……everything.

This new year I am not making resolutions. I am making one promise to God….I will do whatever He tells me to do to be a reflection of Jesus. Do they see Jesus in me? um….nope. Not when I am focusing on the unimportant things in my small narrow life.  As a Christian my primary purpose in life is to reflect Jesus in this world and do His work. Yep, once I get that in my thick unrelenting skull…..I hear it already in the creases of my puny head. You aren’t worthy of that, who do you think you are Miss High and Mighty Christian? Yeah….oh boy this is not going to be easy……I can also hear Jesus say ” I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.” Worth the pain, ridicule, suffering, tired, work, blood, sweat, tears…..yes, following Jesus is totally worth it…. Sure failure is a given, but picking up and dusting off , trying again..yeah that is what it is all about…….So..here is goes one more shinny happy new year…….I don’t do shinny….but I am going to keep my one promise and that is to try and be the ahnds and feet of Jesus. I am going to get involoved in some way and get out of this self centered rut I have been in this last year.

Christmas Pain

As I sit here the morning after Christmas and think about all the events of the past week, the one that stands out in my mind is not the Christmas morning gift wrap explosion that happened around the tree, but midnight mass at church. Our priest Ft. Jeff said “Christmas is not only a holiday, but a Holy Day.”  As I pondered what he said I came to realize that we as Christians hold the crucifixion of Christ as paramount to our forgiveness by God, but what we miss is that the birth of Christ was just as tragic and painful.  I am not talking about the obvious that He had to be born to die. Our Father God chose to impregnate a young girl to send His son here to suffer for us. The suffering began before he was born. We all know the warm fuzzy Nativity story with lowing cows, gifts and singing angels, but what about the other side of the story? The painful and terrified side?

Mary was probably 13 years old or so and unmarried. If she had not been protected by God she would have been stoned to death as other adulterous women had been stones in the village of Nazareth. She was engaged and in that culture that was the same as being married. Even without that for a young girl to be pregnant was a death sentence unless she had a husband to claim it. Which Joseph did not at first.  Was Mary suffering for Christ even at that point of the story? Yes, she had to tell her mother, father and future husband that she was pregnant and God did it.  No wonder the girl left town to visit her cousin Elizabeth.  While she was gone, Joseph suffered agonizing ridicule and it kept him up at night. He tossed and turned at the fact his sweet young bride was knocked up. The angel Gabriel visited him in a dream and told him to relax Mary is telling the truth. Mary and Joseph were terrified at the prospect of Mary’s pregnacy and yet, they followed God’s will.  Mary very well could have said No to God, but she didn’t. Joseph could have said no to Mary’s father. He could have told him to keep his daughter, but he didn’t.  Then the suffering got worse.

The couple went from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about a hundred miles on a donkey…. on a donkey. Not only was Mary in physical pain and Joseph’s feet raw from the walking, there where other dangers on the road, bandits to steal what they had, men who took women as slaves and other untold bad things. Yet, God protected them from that, but not the suffering of the journey. It was long and hard. Mary pregnant and riding on a donkey. Her back must have hurt, her feet must have swelled and she must have been sleep deprived.

Jesus was born in a manger the story says…a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes was laying in the manger. A manger is a wood box for feeding animals. A smelly box with animal slobber and bugs. Where did Mary get the swaddling cloth? Mary probably ripped her own clothing, wrapped Him up and layed Him in the manger on the cleanest hay she could find. Itchy scratchy bug filled  hay. No bassinet with a musical mobile spinning  about his head. How many of us would ride on a donkey for a hundred miles, give birth in a barn and put our newborn in a hay box?  That is suffering.

Did the suffering for our sin start at the arrest of Jesus? No it started the moment that God put the plan in motion. The Nativity story is a story of a miraculous birth of out Savior and the suffering of our Savior. From the moment of conception the suffering started. However, to suffer is to be human. He suffered the experienced of human life.  

So as you think about Christmas and all the fun things that go with it, remember that it is as Father Jeff said, a Holy day not a holiday. Without Jesus it is just another day to have a party, with Him it is the remembrance of His coming into suffrage for us sinners.

Well Now…

I am on a roll…I am writing every day and reading every day. This is an amazing task if you consider 8-12 hours of my day is at work. I can’t seem to find big chunks of time to do either so I manage by finding snippets of time to do both.  A little writing here and a little reading there. I would love to post here every single day but I am looking at what I write and it is not post worthy…..unless you like to read ramblings of a mind on a roller coaster that never ends….( This is the song that never ends it just goes on and on my friend.) I may start posting some of it just to see what kind of comments I get.

Comments, that is the other thing NO ONE COMMENTS!!! Ok, well my mother does but she loves me, but I know people are reading this blog. The little meter I have shows views per day, excluding mine and it has numbers on it. So I have voyeurs who won’t comment.  Listen, if what you read sounds like a bunch of crazy talk, say so. I am not hurt by comments, I use them like a plant uses air and water…they make me grow as a writer.

OK, now off to write some meaningful saga that will improve humanity as we know it or at least fill my day with words which is the best kind of day.