2007/12/26

A New Christmas Vow

How has the Holiday Season changed us? We go through the grind of purchasing a gift for someone who we may have in an exchange and what is the value?

I have vowed to change the way in which I give gifts. Rather than buying from another person's shopping list, I pledge to learn about the person and then craft a present that encourages them to pursue a dream. The gifts that were presented to Jesus, were items that stated expectations for him. I would like to do the same this next season.

Hopefully, I will not give another magazine subscription or the latest gadget that someone must have to survive. I want the gift to inspire the recipient to climb a mountain that they have thought about but have not yet undertaken. I want to help someone to really come alive.

2007/12/21

Seasonal Thoughts

Any number of holidays, representing a number of religious celebrations, dot the December calendar. Jews regard Hanukkah, Muslims pause for Ramadan, Kwanzaa is set apart by many African Americans, and Christians celebrate Christmas.

The question that I have raise is why is there a general lack of respect for the Holy Days of other religions? If we as Christians desire that our Holy Days be recognized, are we willing to give respect to the special days of other religions?

I am not suggesting that we expect a Christian to participate in the festivities of any of these holidays any more than we should expect a Muslim or a Jew to participate in our celebrations. However, it seems that granting respect for different expressions would earn the opportunity to bridge the crevice which separates us.

2007/12/01

Set a Day Aside for Complaining

For those of us in the United States (November 22) and Canada (October 8), Thanksgiving has come and gone. Gratitude is not easily expressed by many of us and I am not sure why. It may be that inwardly we think that we have earned what we have and thus it is not necessary to thank another person. It may be that we have an arrogance that reasons that we deserve what we have and thus we are not thankful.

The irony is that in traveling through several third world countries, I find that they appreciate and are thankful for what they have. By our western standards, they would be considered impoverished. Instead of focusing on the material accumulations, they consider themselves wealthy because they have family and friends.

It is my suggestion that we in the west learn the secrets to their joy and be thankful for relationships and family. It is in these that we find true meaning to life. Another irony is that in the midst of our surplus of "toys" we are more wont to complain than the remainder of the world. Let's consider dropping "Thanksgiving" as a holiday and set aside one day for complaining and whining. If we are consistent with the expression of our gratitude, we should then only complain this one day a year.