Holiday Musings…


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The holidays are always the most interesting time of the year. All of us grew up in the enchantment of Christmas; a time where for a short period it was about the other people and not ourselves. People were a little nicer; a bit more compassionate; more kind to their fellow man. As children, most of us experienced the magic whereby we could hardly sleep in anticipation of the gifts we would receive on Christmas day. It was the one day when all of our dreams might come true. As we got older, we rightfully accepted our duty to produce that same feeling in our children and the people whom we loved. How glorious! How beautiful! How grand! No matter your beliefs, no matter your background, no matter your upbringing, Christmas was always a special time reserved for families and dear friends. Then, just like that, the holidays were over and we grudgingly returned to life as usual. The time for giving had eclipsed and it was back to the pursuit of number one. Maybe there is a lesson in Christmas? Holiday musings are in order.

What is it concerning Christmas that works so powerfully to change our views about people? Many say that Jesus is the reason for the season. But, is he? Most bible scholars will freely admit that the birth of Christ did not occur in December at all. More appropriately, Jesus is the reason for all seasons. The very idea of a man that lived for others; that sought the good of others above himself; the determination and drive to bring about God’s will in all situations; the enduring love and willingness to heal all that were oppressed under the burdensome hand of the devil, this was the life of our savior, this was God’s perfect man. In many ways, he exemplified the concept of Christmas in that his focus was the happiness and deliverance of others. He didn’t live this way for a month or so according to tradition, he lived this way his entire adult life. He was God’s representative on earth and as such he came only to do good for all that needed him, both in his present time and throughout the future. Perhaps the good feelings of Christmas, whether based on the pleasant memories of our past or based on a change of our perspective in the present, remain to teach us a valuable lesson; continue to exist to offer a small taste of the life that God intended for us, a time where everyday is Christmas at our house.

Christmas is a time when we finally let our preoccupation with ourselves go and turn our focus outward. We joy and rejoice in the intended effect our gifts will have on those we love. We think of all the people we embrace and look for ways to express our love for them. Instead of carelessly glossing over and taking for granted those we hold most dear, we seek rather to honor them no matter the cost, so that our love for them is increasingly evident. For us, it’s not about the money, the expense, but instead it’s about actively seeking their good, their blessing; their hearts. In this, we taste the goodness of God and experience for ourselves the true intention and heart of our Creator. We learn, even if for a relatively brief time, that it is more blessed to give than receive and that in giving from the heart our hearts are satisfied and blessed. We touch on the grand design and for a short respite forget ourselves. Oh the blessing and delight that Christmas represents.

Christmas is a time when we draw back from the hustle and bustle of life and recommit ourselves to our people. We finally take a break, a much needed break from the rat race and endless striving for something we don’t have, and settle down to our base, our foundation, our happy place of family. And,  though far from perfect, our place of safety, blessings and love. We stop trying to make our family into something they are not and instead embrace them for who they are, good and bad, because we love them. We share our fondest memories and remember how we all waited in gleeful anticipation for the great day that was on the horizon. In some way, we all tasted and felt how good life could be and we embraced it with all of our hearts. Christmas, steeped in tradition and a conglomeration of many ideas and beliefs, still served to teach us a different way; a way based on looking for the good in others instead of the bad in ourselves. And, every year we are blessed with that same pleasant reminder of how good life can be.

This Christmas, no matter your beliefs or upbringing, let yourself experience the love and blessings that your family and friends supply for you. Don’t let the moment escape you. Don’t fret yourself over something you cannot afford or worry yourself with meeting every demand. What your children will remember most is not the Xbox or the the new car, but instead the love you shared with them during the season of goodness and love. The love you felt and recall so fondly is the love they will remember as well. Put the Christmas music on. Watch the Hallmark movies. Serve up the hot chocolate in your pajamas reserved for the holiday season. Drink wine, bake cookies, make the place as festive as you can for in so doing, you encourage the love and goodness you enjoyed that lives on until this day. Ahh it is Christmas time and the love of God is all around you. Embrace it. It’s Christmas…

Just some good thoughts.

Real Life is the Absence of…


12109017_906397282785691_8569625912449202360_nOne of the most grand, important and hugely significant realizations of our times seems to center on life; a REAL LIFE! Let’s face it, we are all trying to get a life. We want a life filled with happiness and love. We want variety and vibrancy and delight. We want to wake up in the morning excited for the day, with our hearts full of love and joy and peace. And all of us, yes every single one of us, are seeking the exact same thing in infinite variations. So, the million dollar question is, is the real life we so ardently desire something we can get or rather the absence of something we’ve been getting?

The cheap answer would appear to be finding that special “something” out there that promises to heal all of our wounds; solve all of our dilemmas; straighten all of our crookedness and infuse us with lasting vitality! But, the vastly more costly answer is found on the other side, in the absence of…

Life, behind all of the senses coverings, always boils down to two things, good and evil. But, here’s where it gets interesting. Life’s greater realities are not really two distinct entities, but rather one true entity and one illusory entity. The illusory entity is not anything in itself except the absence of the true entity. Wow, crazy talk, huh? Let me explain… The opposite of life is death. Death is simply the absence of life. Darkness is merely the absence of light. Fear is the absence of love, or to put it another way, love is the absence of fear. Peace is the absence of trouble or the end of the struggle. All of life’s negatives represent the absence of something good; something we were designed to have!

As I mused this idea, I thought about how many of us are seeking and toiling and searching for that special something, never considering that, that “special” something is already here for us. It’s quite literally all around us. It’s found in the mighty oak tree and in the most delicate orchid. It’s in the warmth of the sunlight and the sound of the ocean. It’s in the eyes of your grandchildren and the smile from your mother. Life, beautiful life, real life just is and requires no help from you or me. And when you see life, there is no mistaking it for what it is, that is unless you’ve allowed the darkness to hold sway!

The other side of life, the absence of it, seeks to blind your eyes from the real life God intended for you. It makes you afraid and anxious about life. It steals away your peace by introducing agitation and unrest. It robs you of your enthusiasm and energy by getting you to dwell on its negative illusions. It works to occupy your mind with nothingness and pointlessness and would, if allowed to, reduce your life into one useless travail on an empty road leading nowhere! It’s behind every sickness, every sorrow, every lost hope, and every miserable thing. It’s work is displayed in every murder, every suicide, and every rape. And all of it, every single piece of it, is nothing more than the absence of goodness and love and light!

Maybe then, the best way to get that real life, you’ve been pining away for, is to stop seeking it so exhaustively and work rather on getting rid of the stuff that’s taking it away from you. Instead of searching the world over for love, get rid of your fear. Love comes from life who also goes by the name, God! And, before I continue let me give you a sidelight which is really the whole light. You are not going to find that real life you are after without God’s help. You know how I know? Because you haven’t found it on your own yet, have you? Oh you can try, and you can fill your mind with endless theories, but in the end you won’t find life because you haven’t yet found God!

Instead of doing all kinds of shenanigans to find peace, why not work on eliminating the agitations and the trouble. Trouble cannot exist without your cooperation because it’s a parasite feeding off your thoughts. To become agitated or maybe stay agitated, you have to continue entertaining the evil thought. Thinking it, or often in my case, analyzing it, only serves to permit its entree that much longer. The solution isn’t to clear your mind of all thought, but rather to replace agitating thoughts with thoughts of peace.

If you feel depressed or bored or just plain weary, begin to track down which thoughts are sucking away your energy. Your energy comes from the life force and is always there for you. However, certain thoughts, certain activities steal away that precious energy and leave you life-less! There’s almost nothing more energizing than to begin a new day with new thoughts and a renewed anticipation.

If you don’t know what to do or where to go or how to navigate your way, turn on the light (God’s Word). Dwelling on the darkness won’t bring forth the light because darkness is and always will be, the absence of light. The reason so many people are profoundly stuck in life is because they spend almost all of their precious days dwelling on everything that isn’t right. Dwelling on sickness won’t bring forth health. Dwelling on problems doesn’t engender solutions. Dwelling on lack never forces prosperity.

At the end of the day, to the end of your life, you have one thing you can control and that is your mind! Your mind is where all of the good things live. You should no more allow evil to permeate your thoughts than you would allow a poisonous snake to hang out in your living room. The only way to make your house safe again would be to get rid of the “thing” making it unsafe. It doesn’t require long prayers or voodoo doctors or snake charmers, it requires a decision in your mind ~ no more snakes!

The one and only “real life” is already there, waiting for you. It is infused into everything that life is… To find it you only need to once and for all rid yourself of everything that is blinding you to its reality. The time is short my friends, so short. You’ve got one shot at this thing. Learn how to get rid of everything that holds you back. You know how to do it? Ask God to teach you. If this made any sense to you, just imagine how good it would be to get it from the Source!

Real life…man, what a concept!

Just some good thoughts…