Ponderings by Doug

Do we sing about someone making a list and checking it twice? Do you keep lists this time of year? My lists are jamming up right now.

I have a shopping list. I have a list of gifts that I am to purchase for those whom I love. The problem with my list is that those, whom I love, usually change their mind about what they want. Guys, I will confess I am a terrible gift giver. My first year of marriage, my wife wanted perfume for her birthday, and I bought her a weed eater. Every year I purchase something that must be returned. There have been years where I have purchased the “return gift” on purpose, so she could get a store credit and purchase what she wanted. I know a gift card to that store would be more practical, remember “it is the thought that counts.”

About this time of year, she starts saying, “You remember what I said I wanted in September?” Of course, I remember because I wrote it down! “Well, I don’t want it anymore!” So, my Christmas shopping list is one big erasure! I’m thinking about another weed eater so she can return it and get something she really wants! 

There is the other list that the guy in the red suit seems to keep. He is keeping that “naughty and nice” list. I want to know where I fall on that list. I have been very nice while being very naughty. Isn’t that the way with us? The Bible proclaims it as a paradox. While we are saints in the church, we are also sinners, or if you like the converse sinners are also saints. We have a paradoxical existence. The Apostle Paul said, “The things I don’t want to do, those things I do.” If the author of most of the New Testament struggled with his sinfulness, who am I to attempt perfection? I want to know where I fall on Santa’s continuum of naughty and nice.

Then there is the whole list of things I must do for the holiday. By the time most of us get to Christmas we are exhausted, with parties, gatherings, reunions, and festivals. We crave some “Silent Night” in our lives and that is on my list of things to do.

We do this to ourselves, because? Oh yeah, we are remembering God in the flesh. He was born in a simple manger to peasant people. We are remembering God coming as a baby so we might approach Him and hold Him. I wonder if being in the presence of that baby of Bethlehem has made any of our lists? Would a relationship with Him change the lists we keep?

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