The VOICE of Inspiration
By Don Lindsey
Like pretty much all of us, Christmas was my favorite time of the year when I was a kid. Between the family traditions and gatherings to the moment of shredding wrapping paper all over the place, I would have never guessed that I’d grow tired of the holiday.
However, sadly, I did.
I remember overhearing a conversation a couple of gentlemen were having while my mother and I were on a city bus, heading downtown to see Santa Claus. One of the men had stated that he really didn’t like the holiday.
“When I was a kid, I loved Christmas but now, I can’t wait for it to be over with,” he said.
I was floored. Did this knucklehead just say that he wished for Christmas to be over with?!? Being 10 or so at the time, his anti-Christmas declaration bothered me for quite some time. As I got older however, I started to feel the same way.
I remember beginning to think that Christmas was just a holiday that targeted kids and was designed for stores and other businesses to make a boat load of cash. Kind of like how Valentine’s Day was created to get couples to spend money on gifts for each other. You can probably tell from those last two sentences that I was a bit jaded and cynical as a young man but now I’m starting to see that my distain from the holiday wasn’t about anything other than frustrations that I had over a variety of things. The family gatherings stopped after my grandmothers passed away and I didn’t see as much of my siblings because they all had families that required their attention. I realized as I was writing this column that the two things I just mentioned were what I missed the most about Christmas from my childhood. I also realized that in my reminiscing, I have completely missed out on what the holiday is about.
A celebration for the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I have a brother that celebrates his birthday on Christmas and I’ve always wished him a happy birthday and celebrated with him when I could so why would I not do the same for Jesus? I believe that the answer to that question is just as simple as it is embarrassing to admit and that is because I take Christ and his role in my life not as serious as I should. It seems easy for me to put Jesus on the backburner while I try to navigate my life when time and time again, He’s shown me that when I let Him lead, the results are much better and I’m a lot happier.
When I’m honest with myself and look back on my life so far, I see that anything good that happened to me was God driven. I know that there are a lot of folks that would dispute that claim and I’m not saying that I’m not in control of my decisions, I’m just saying that when I let go of frustrations and pray instead, I find a sense of peace and I believe that’s coming from Jesus, the same Jesus that I push aside on an everyday basis because I think I know more about how my life should be lived.
One of the most amazing things about all of this is that even though I put The Lord second a lot of the time, He’s still there when I need Him. He’s never left my side. I should be more grateful than I have been, but the wonderful thing about Jesus is that I know He will forgive my rudeness towards Him and continue to walk with me. When I think about Christmas in this way, It’s hard not to be grateful for our Savior, it’s hard not to be excited for my family and the time we will spend together over the holiday and it’s really hard not to get into the Christmas Spirit.
God bless and Merry Christmas.
Don Lindsey is a follower of Christ, son, husband, father, and a survivor. Originally from Dayton Ohio, and resident of Apopka for six years, Don sees his life as a dedication to his wife, parents, children, and community.