Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Season of Overindulgence

Welcome to the Season of Overindulgence. 

It used to be called the Holidays, but the stark reality is, most Americans have forgotten about the real meanings of Thanksgiving and Christmas and now just look forward to buying more and more stuff and eating too much food.

Black Friday sales start the Monday or Tuesday before Thanksgiving, and you can buy anything anyone might want in person or online at almost any hour of any day between now and . . . well, frankly, forever.

How did we get here?

How did the American populous forget about the reasons we used to celebrate? Do today's children even know about the pilgrims, about the Civil War, about anything in our history before the advent of MTV or the Disney channel? Where have we lost our collective past, dare I say our collective soul?

When I was growing up, stores closed for Thanksgiving, and for Christmas. Everyone understood that you needed to go buy your Thanksgiving food by at least Wednesday evening, and you needed to gas up the car on your way home. Even as late as the 1990's everything closed by 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve. If you didn't plan ahead you did without. Life was just as complicated back then, yet the general populace still realized the way to respect other people was to give them a day off of work for Thanksgiving and for Christmas. Doctors, nurses, firefighters, policemen still worked (on a rotating schedule ) ~ yet people treated them with respect and honor. They often took a plate of cookies to the firehouse, dropped a basket of fruit off at the ER for the nurses and paramedics, or at least said a simple "Thank You." They understood sacrifice a little better than we do today.

Go ahead, call me old-fashioned ~ I can take it.

I've seen a disturbing trend in eating as well ~ instead of eating a meal and then having a dessert or two, many do not even eat the holiday meal, they just head for the sweets. Instead of savoring a sweet, we simply expect it as our due. We don't eat to fuel our bodies anymore, we eat to feed our desires. We are making ourselves ill, not because we can't access or afford food, but because we choose to NOT eat what our bodies need in favor of a quick sugar high.

We've become a society of selfish, self-centered, over-indulged whiners. We have forgotten what thankfulness is. Too often we think if we don't have EVERYTHING, then we don't have anything of value. We have taken materialism and gluttony to the extreme.

It is time to change!

Stop what you're doing right now and think about what you ate at your last meal...can you remember? 
If your last meal was today, then you are blessed, and you should be thankful. I know I've been swept up into the trap of greed and gluttony recently myself. I want to get back to a heart and life that is full of grace and thankfulness. I want to focus on the real reason we celebrate Christmas - Christ!

If you're struggling with feelings of inadequacy as a parent because you can't give your children everything they see on tv, or feeling like a failure at eating right because you know you've been eating too many desserts - it's time for a heart change. Heart changes lead to life changes.

Let's turn this around.

Let's decide to get back to the reasons our grandparents celebrated the Holidays ~ Thankfulness and worshipping Christ. Let's spend time teaching our children to give thanks . . .  it is not just limited to one Thursday in November . . . it should be happening each day of our lives. 

How about this one? How about we turn the focus of Christmas back to Christ?! How about we choose to spend the month of December with our children teaching them not only about Christ's birth ~ but about His life, death, and resurrection.

Can we be like the Shepherds from Luke 2, who searched for the Christ Child? They found Him and their lives were changed. Join me in searching for Christ this Holiday season. Let the wonder and the joy of His birth infuse our lives with awe. May we rejoice and glorify God for all He has done. 

May we do something not only for ourselves this week, but also for others. May we listen for the Spirit's gentle calling and share love and joy with our words and actions.

May this be the season of Joy, of Love, and of Christ.

Let's get back to CHRISTmas, in our hearts, and with our celebrations. 

O come, all ye faithful...
Come, let us adore Him, Christ the LORD.

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