I have been present in a number of settings recently where people groused rather than expressed gratitude for the holidays.  The refrain, “I hate Christmas” is expressed every day by some one in my circle of associates.  I can understand that for many the holidays dig up a lot of bad memories from childhood.  Or perhaps bad marriages dig them up.  But the past is just that. Past! To continue letting what happened “then” determine what we see and feel now, is like raiding the refrigerator for week-old left-overs rather than eating the freshly prepared meal that’s sitting before us on the table.

I can’t say that every memory of my Christmases past is a great one but dragging any one of those memories, good or bad, into this moment is an ill-conceived idea and one that cheats me of the joy that living here and now promises me.

Getting the “hang of ” living here and now is a gift as sure to please as the most treasured material gift one has ever received and it’s one that can be re-experienced, over and over again, with the same promise wrapped in it.  That God as we understand him is in each moment and every one of them has been divinely planned for us. We need not worry, now or ever, that we aren’t being led to where we need to be, to meet those who are purposefully waiting for us.

Whether it’s Christmas or any other day of the year, let’s seek to appreciate the joy that is a guaranteed part of God’s plan.  None of us has been left out of this circle.

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