As quickly as they came, the holidays we love so much are gone for another year. Now we can settle down for that long winter’s nap — sort of — until spring arrives in 72 days.
We have stepped into a new year, either alone or holding onto the hand of God. What this year has in store for us, none of us knows. We can be certain it will be a year of change and challenge. As we face the uncertainties of 2021, perhaps a moment to reflect on the Christmas we just celebrated might be in order.
Thinking over the Christmas you celebrated, if you could keep only one memory, what would it be?
Would that memory be of a gift that might take the one who gave it months to pay off the credit card that was used to bring you happiness?
Would that memory be the bright lights that surrounded your home, inside and out?
Would that memory be the empty chair, left by a loved one who passed into eternity during the year?
Would that memory be the laughter of a child, so excited by a gift that cost only pennies that she could barely speak?
Would that memory be of an unexpected gift that was given with great sacrifice by someone far away?
Would that memory be of a gift that would be meaningless to most who see it but spoke volumes of love to the one who received it?
Would that memory be of a table laden with all kinds of goodies, more food than one family could possibly eat in one meal?
Would that memory be of a gift that brought tears to your eyes when it was opened?
Would that memory be of a loved one sitting alone in a quiet nursing home room?
Would that memory be of the beautiful Christmas cards you received, each one representing someone, who for a few moments, took time out of their busy life to think of you and to let you know they were thinking of you?
Would that memory be of a small gift made by a child, too delicate to use but overflowing with love?
Would that memory be of the moment when you knew God reached down from heaven and touched your life on Christmas Eve?
Would that memory be what sounded like a chorus of angels singing in a small country church where nine people had gathered to celebrate the birth of the Savior?
Would that memory be of someone special saying a simple “I love you?”
Would that memory be of the blessings received during the Christmas season, in spite of the harsh reality of COVID?
What would your Christmas 2020 memory be? I can’t have just one memory from Christmas, because all of these were a vivid part of my Christmas.
Sometimes when the trials, frustrations and challenges of daily life seem to overwhelm us, it is good to have memories to remind us that the trials will pass, but the memory of our blessings can last forever.
We are not supposed to live in the past, but to meet the challenges of the present and future. But sometimes it is those blessed memories from the past that can give us the strength and courage to forge ahead, creating yet another memory to be cherished.
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Thought for the week — A truly rich man is one whose children run into his arms when his hands are empty. (Unknown)