Monday, January 14, 2008

Words for Living part 3 (published Dec. 26 in "The Community Voice.")

Christmas is over; our northern neighbors are celebrating “Boxing day,” toys lay broken on the floor, and children are making their list for next Christmas. Broken dreams of not getting what you wanted, the disappointment that doll only says a dozen things, the indigestion of all that fudge has started to haunt you. Maybe you stepped on the scale, uttered an oath, and promised yourself that next year you would be able to see the scales. Pigs fly and the Soo will go dry.

“Next year,” you tell yourself. Next year is another year. The optimistic dream of “another” anything lightens our hearts. How many of us want another chance to prove ourselves? Anyone want another chance with that special someone? Trouble is when we find the mythical “another” we find more of the same broken dreams, disappointments, and indigestion.

A friend took me on a tour of his home. It was one of my childhood homes. The dungeon was fixed up with bright lighting, carpet, and sheetrock. Something, other than the mold, seemed to be missing from the tour. I asked about the old coal room. The house had been heated with a massive coal furnace. The coal room was just a few feet way from the long forgotten furnace. Apparently only I knew the secret. Never wanting to miss an adventure, he pulled out a hammer and attacked the wall.

Ever been so wrong about something you were embarrassed? Happens to me lots of times, but this wasn’t one of them. The hammer made a hole which revealed an old wooden door. The door opened into the old coal room. Would it surprise you to learn it was full of valuable antiques, piles of money, and a skeleton? It would me. You see, besides the dust in the long abandon room there was only more dust.

Still, I got to tell him the story of the time a man in our church moved an old wardrobe that had been bolted to the wall and found a tunnel. The tunnel was made by a moon shiner during the days of Prohibition. For the young ones, that’s when alcohol was illegal. Would it surprise you to learn it was full of valuable antiques, piles of money, and a skeleton? It did.

Sometimes what we are looking for surprises us. “And when they came into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.” [Matthew 2:11] They came looking for an ordinary King but found the extraordinary Creator of the universe. They were ready to give treasures fit for a King but I think they gave much more, their lives.

Did you know you are on the same quest? Until you go to Jesus you will only have “another.” Ultimately “another” will leave you empty, broken, and exhausted. Jesus, on the other hand is the real thing.

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