Echoes From the Campfire

Ax handle busted.  Woodpile low.
     Ain’t got much fire tonight.
     The drifts have knocked some fence lines down,
     I trust you’re all right.
     My pot of beans boiled dry,
     and scorched while I was out today.
     Them cows are driftin’ awful,
     Merry Christmas anyway!”
              –S. Omar Barker

    “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!”
              –2 Corinthians 9:15 (NLT)
I’ve spent many a day walking in a winter wonderland.  Some of it was work, but much was so I could get out in God’s wonderful creation.  I remember one time, when living on the north side of Colorado Springs I spotted a herd of antelope.  They were down in a little ravine.  I donned my old white hat, put on some painter’s white coveralls, and headed out to see if I could get close to them.  When they spotted me, they took off eastward, out toward the prairie–I decided to follow.  I moved slowly through the ravine, then as I came to a rise that would take me out, I moved to my knees and slowly moved forward.  The antelope had joined a larger herd, but there was one acting like a sentinel watching.  It was a great experience, and I realized that I had been gone just shy of three hours.
    It was cold, there was snow, but I was happy.  Of course it was nice to get back to the apartment to warm up.  I see that so many people worry about the “weather.”  I’m not just talking about the snow, rain, or heat, but they worry about almost anything and if they didn’t have anything to worry about they’d make it up.  Of course now, we have the media to make up things for folks to worry about.
    Listen!  The agenda to destroy Christianity has not changed.  The devil will do his utmost to bring havoc and confusion.  He will allow people to be his pawns in the attempt.  He has used political correctness, now he is adding to that fear, and says that you must not travel, or gather together.  Hmmm, what were the words of that old man?  “Bah–humbug!”
    This time of year we should take time to understand the benefit that Christmas brings to us.  The birth of our Savior Jesus Christ is primary, but there are other things presented.  Look at the lights!  Our downtown square is decorated beautifully this year.  Listen to the carols, and for that you might have to find your own.  There is “Christmas music” that has taken away the place of those wonderful carols/hymns that tell the story of the Incarnation.  Ahhh, enjoy the smells, just the thought makes me hungry, but back in the day there was also the smell of a real tree in the living room.  There are smiles, if you can see them through a mask, there is laughter–or there should be.  Enjoy the season!
    Christmas is given to us to remember to enjoy life.  One of the great joys of Christmas is to prevent the remorse of memory.  Take time, now, to enjoy life.  Take time, now, to value the present.  Live in the present with thanksgiving, wonder, and awe this time of year brings.  Christmas teaches that we need to thank God for the things of the day; live in the present by giving thanks, that in turn will put in place pleasant memories.  When God offers us a flower should we not take time to look at it and enjoy its beauty and fragrance?
    Often people become despondent and depressed and the devil would use this time of year to attack in such a way.  The choice is ours.  Sure there are “bad” memories, but we too often forget that there is also a cup of gladness.  We take life for granted, thinking that blessings are owed us, but this Christmas dare to drink and ponder the cup of gladness that Christmas brings to us.
    Listen to the sounds of Christmas, the bells.  Look at the lights, and then at a child’s face when they see them.  Rejoice in the star (Jupiter/Saturn) and then remember that “Star” long ago that shone down on the “Light of the world” lying in a manger.  Think about how someone would think enough of you and take the time to wrap and give you a present.  They put it under the tree simply because they care for you.  Then as you sit at the table that represents all of the bounty that the Lord has given, think a minute before diving into the turkey and dressing of all the happiness that the Lord has given you and how this time of the year represents His Gift.