What usually comes to mind as Christmas nears? Before you have a chance to think about it, ads bombard you from all directions, encouraging you to buy everything under the sun. You must wade through all the commercial trappings to get to the spiritual aspects of Christmas.
Christmas is about a birthday, that of Jesus. To some people, Jesus is the Son of God, part of the Trinity which constitutes God. To others, he was a good man who brought some new ideas about how to live peacefully with each other. To still others, Jesus is irrelevant to their daily lives.
Regardless of your beliefs, I think you can agree that a baby named Jesus was born about 2000 years ago. The birth of any baby is truly a miracle. The study of embryology shows us the thousands of steps which must take place successfully in order for a fertilized egg to become a living, breathing baby.
If you know someone who has a baby and you visit the baby on two occasions a week apart, you will be amazed at the changes that have taken place between your two visits. Over time, the baby who once stared unresponsively learns to smile, roll over, wave, clap hands, stand and eventually communicate with you.
Holding a newborn baby brings a sense of awe and a reverence for life rather than taking life for granted. It is a reminder of how far you have come since emerging from the womb yourself. A baby’s innocence reminds you that you can look at things around you in a fresh way, no matter how jaded you have become over the years.
Babies hold great promise for the world. Alexander the Great, Churchill, Michelangelo, Mozart, Shakespeare and Mother Teresa all started out as babies. Who could tell, looking at any of them as babies, what their lives would hold? What do you think your parents imagined for you when you were born? If you have children, what did you imagine for them?
You might think you only have one chance in life. You could feel trapped by how your parents raised you, how you have allowed yourself to become mired down by your mistakes or by how others have treated you. Perhaps you dwell on your physical or mental limitations or those imposed by poor health. Somehow, it seems easier to think about what you can’t do than about what you can do. I remember the story of a woman who had no arms but became an excellent office manager and private secretary making the best use of her toes. Sometimes your limitations point you toward capabilities you never imagined you had.
What does all this have to do with Christmas? You have a chance to be reborn with Jesus, not just on Christmas but every day. What if you woke up tomorrow morning with none of the old thinking which keeps you from trying something new? What might you be able to do if you didn’t let your negative thinking hold you back? Would you like to try it?
- Try to set aside what you see as your limitations.
- Challenge yourself to try something you imagined you could not do.
- This time use your imagination to find a new way.
- Go ahead and experiment.
- Keep going until you find a solution.
(Excerpt from Commonsense Wisdom for Everyday Life by Joseph Langen)