UP FOR DISCUSSION … As we begin this year’s miracle of Christmas celebration, I continue to bask in the varied glow of lights – and people – in this season of joy and take notice of all that I am grateful for. My blessings far outweigh my misfortunes.

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It is a well-ingrained habit by now … my assessment of any situation based primarily on a quickly constructed pro/con ledger.  Not unlike a Net Worth Statement, I tend to look at my life as a series of events and evaluate it by looking at both the up and down sides of things.  Win some, lose some!  Good and bad!  Success or failure!  Those black and white judgments still come too easy from my early accountant training of knowing where the debits and credits go to get you to a balanced picture of reality.  And that approach at Christmas time especially only reinforces the transactional nature of asset/liability assessments of life!  Sitting in the glow of our Christmas tree last evening, it was only the positives of this season that comprised my assessment of feeling at peace and yes, even feeling joy and anticipation, as we welcome our remaining Christmas celebration and a brand new year.

For the dreaded month of December is all but gone, and a quick look back only brings a sense of gratitude at all that was and still is to be in the coming days.  The greatest realization as I try to put this Christmas into my ledger mentality, is that people do not fit easily into a labeled column.  The richness I feel has everything to do with being surrounded by people I value … and who value me … and a clear recognition that in some significant way we matter to one another.  And at this special time of the year, there is such joy in being together and understanding that connection – and telling each other about the personal value we find in these connections.

A good friend shared this sentiment with me recently:  God puts people into our lives at precisely the time we need them.  Their arrival is often unexpected, they do not always stay for a long while, but the connections are powerful and serve a purpose we cannot fully understand.  These people quickly move from being strangers to becoming confidants and life coaches.  They bring a unique perspective and add a richness to our well-being that is felt far earlier than can be easily explained.  And at Christmas, when we slow down enough to take the time to share our appreciation for one another, we are rewarded with a feeling of peace and wonder that we are far from alone in our challenges.  Indeed, we have solid company along the way … God’s plan for all of us, truly, is to just walk each other home.

And so, on this Silent Night, not only do I realize that all is calm, and all is bright, but I am also joyfully reminded of the redeeming grace God has shown me in all that I have and enjoy today surrounded by people whom I love and admire.  You just cannot put that into a general ledger.  As I hum this hymn, in the glow of a sacred symbol of this special season, I am so profoundly grateful.


Up for Discussion:  How about you?  Are there people in your life who are making a difference you never expected?  Have you told them how much you value them and how much joy they bring to you?

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