Echoes From the Campfire

Soon the years are gone and all there is to remember is a lot of empty struggle, and one is too old to enjoy what was gained.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Westward the Tide)

    “He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; [a]and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it…”
              –Romans 14:6 (NKJV)
I came across this short, but very insightful sermon.  It is worth passing on and letting you ponder on it.

         “It is a good thing to observe Christmas day.  The mere making of times and seasons, when men agree to stop work and make merry together, is a wide and wholesome custom.  It helps one to feel the supremacy of the common life over the individual life.  It reminds a man to set his own little watch, now and then, by the great clock of humanity which runs on sun time.
         But there is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.
         Are you willing to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you; to ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world; to put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground; to see that your fellow-men are just as real as your are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy; to own that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life; to close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness–are you willing to do these things even for a day?  Then you can keep Christmas.
         Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and the desires of little children; to remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old; to stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough; to bear in mind the things that other people have to bear on their hearts; to try to understand what those who live in the same house with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you; to trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you; to make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open–are you willing to do these things even for a day?  Then you can keep Christmas.
         Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world–stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death–and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love?  Then you can keep Christmas.
         And if you keep it for a day, why not always?
         But you can never keep it alone.
                 –Henry Van Dyke

I remember going through several trying nights while out camping.  I always figured I could make it through one night.  If that is true, then why not the opposite?  Instead of trying to make it through a night, why not live for a day? And if one can live for a day, why not make it a lifestyle?  If I recall right, Bing Crosby once said, “that if we don’t have Christmas in our heart, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it white.”
    Christmas signifies giving.  Why not give of yourself this season and always?