So, I’ve spend the past ten days or so decorating for Christmas. Now – don’t judge me! I’m having a Park Lane Holiday Open House next Saturday, so I needed to get everything up and done. And, yes – it literally takes over a week to get it all done. To say that I love Christmas is an understatement! My Santa collection is 150+, and I put up two trees. One of them just has ornaments from every Christmas Steve and I have spent together as husband and wife. It has 42 ornaments this year. Then, my “real tree” has ornaments from four generations. It literally has over 400 precious memories on it. I have a Christmas “city” on my piano. For our 10th wedding anniversary, Steve gave me six little buildings to start a “village.” I’ve bought one building every year – something that represents the year to me. Example: When we built the house, I got a hardware store. When the girls got married, I got a bank because we “broke it!” This year, I got a jewelry store, of course! My village represents my life. Several years back, my Susan was standing at the piano, looking at my village, and said, “You know, Mom – most people just keep a diary!” And – well, what can I say? I love my living room at Christmas time. Most people probably think that I’m crazy to put all of this stuff out year after year, and yet – when I come home and walk into my living room, I can’t help, but smile. I have a favorite little Santa that I sit on the shelf right beside my chair – He makes me smile. And when I look at the ornaments on my tree, I think of the places that we’ve been and the people who have touched my life – I consider it an honor to display these precious treasures. When you love it – it’s not work. It’s “joy!”
I think of those who consider living the Christian life hard. They think of the Bible as something that tells them what they “can’t do,” instead of what they “can.” They grudgingly attend worship services on Sunday mornings because “it’s the right thing to do,” but other activities come first the rest of the week. They put whatever “is in their pocket or purse” in the collection plate – See, they’ve done their part. But, they are missing out on the “joy!” That joy that comes from singing songs of praise with your church family. The joy that comes from studying God’s Word, rightly dividing it and knowing that you are pleasing unto God. Jesus instructed us to partake of the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week – to remind us of His sacrifice. He wants us to remember the cost that He paid, so that we can have joy! Coming up with ways to serve others should make us smile. God didn’t promise that living the Christian life here on earth would be easy, but it will be worth it! Think about what Christ endured. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). He endured because He knew the joy that was coming. When we do something that we love, it’s not too hard. It’s not work – it’s joy!
Our attitude is so important. While living the Christian life can be difficult from time to time – the retirement benefits are “out of this world!” Oh, what a day it will be when we hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:23). Simply blessed, Courtney