The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?

Just after we gnaw the last piece of white meat from the turkey and stuff the last spoonful of lumpy mashed potatoes into our mouths on Thursday on our way to the couch to watch/nap the Ravens and Steelers, it will start.
Over the next 4 weeks the airwaves will echo with this nugget of “breaking news … “
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
There’ll be much mistletoeing
And hearts will be glowing
When loved ones are near
It’s the most wonderful time of the year
I still listen to Andy Williams sing that holiday classic, among many others, including this:
Hail, the heaven-born Prince of peace!
Hail the Son of righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that man no more may die,
born to raise the sons of earth,
born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
Glory to the newborn King.
The “holiday spirit” isn’t laughter and gaiety for everyone. In my case, for many years it was just the excuse I needed to get more drunk with more people. All I got for the trouble, in addition a pounding headache and lless cash, was a reminder of how unfulfilled and unhappy my life was.
Nothing I nor anyone can write or sing will magically sweep away the despair I know many people feel during the holidays.
Those running low on empathy (or who haven’t been where some of us have this time of year) will grunt and say something like, “Suck it up! Get over it!”
Get OVER it? Not likely, no matter what “it” is. Our memory banks just don’t work that way.
I discovered that the right approach is to get THROUGH whatever haunts you. Learn whatever lesson there is and move on to bigger, better and brighter things.
There are two lines from a Dionne Warwick favorite of mine, “I’ll Never Love This Way Again” that remind me:
A fool will lose tomorrow
Looking back for yesterday
Don’t be that fool. Life is about today and tomorrow. If yesterday is anything, it is a building block, a stepping stone.
Some of the blocks in my foundation aren’t particularly pretty. The sorrow and anguish and bitterness are still there if – IF – I want to reach out and take hold of them again. Today, I choose not to.
I don’t have to because I found what I was looking for. Actually, it’s the other way around … what I was looking for found me. And it took the darkest moments of my life before that happened.
I hope these words from “He Was There All the Time” give you some comfort as we start another holiday season.

I believe in a God of second chances. He is a God of “more than” – more than we can imagine or hope for; more than we could ever do by and for ourselves, and certainly more than we deserve.
Even while we’re wandering around aimlessly, bumping into things and making a general mess of our lives, He’s arranging opportunities that will bring us to Him … if and when we are ready and willing.
Maybe you are looking but haven’t found Him. Or maybe you haven’t started looking yet. That’s OK. Take comfort in knowing that He’s looking for you. He knows who you are and what you need. He’s ready; are you?
Remember that every saint has a past … and every sinner has a future.

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