A lot of people are singing “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” right now. This so called holiday cheer and seasons to be jolly begins around the beginning of November.
Not for me. I’m pretty much a happy person most of the time. I credit that to knowing who I am in Christ. But I digress…on with the blog.
For some odd reason many people get the urge to suddenly show joy, appreciation and compassion for their fellow man. Never mind the other ten months out of the year was spent raising hell and ignoring the homeless man on the street. Oh but now! We want to take that homeless man out and buy him and new set of clothes and a meal.
Aren’t we Christians the worst? A lot of us are busy year around making sure we get to Bible study on time, checking our checkbooks twice to make sure we wrote that tithe and offering check. Oh yeah, make sure we donate that 10-year-old coat and hat set we hate to the “charity” garage sell. Then right around the fourth Thursday in November, we look around at our comfy cozy lives and start to feel “thankful”. We make a list of all of the things we’re thankful for. We share those lists with our friends, comparing all of our blessings as if it is a contest. And it is a contest. You know, in the back of your mind, you’re comparing your list to hers envying some things and hoping she feels the same about you.
It’s okay. You don’t have to admit it to anyone. God knows. Right?
I have been one of those people described above. In the past, I really believed that I lived a somewhat devout, dedicated life. All of the special things I did and said during this time of the year was righteous. It made me a good Christian. I’m not one to hold an albatross around anyone’s neck. We all will do what we please…obviously. But I am proud to say that I’m a “holidanomic” in recovery. And I will now take the opportunity to be what some may call a hypocrite and tell you what I am thankful for.
FREEDOM…from lies (about the Bible), conformance, religion, speech, life…
This list could go on forever. And since we don’t have that time, I’ll get to my point.
Romans 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Freedom is a word we throw around so voluntarily. The second we are chastised for doing or saying something, we want to scream what we have a right to do. (self included) But where is the line drawn when it comes to allowing others to use this freedom to influence our children?
My children attend a public school. It is a great school. They have wonderful scores and ratings. I adore the teachers and staff. But, for the past couple of years, I have taken issue with the schools’ and the teachers’ handling of this time of year. A week ago, my youngest came home and told me about the first Thanksgiving. Of course, he retold the watered down vanilla version of the tale. Everyone joined hands, sang and dance and had a feast. He’s only in primary school, so I fought the urge to tell him what really happened when the Europeans invaded the native American’s land. Rest assured, I will tell him when he’s ready. So, I swallowed that pill and let it go.
A couple of days ago, the same child came up to me with something I was surprised to hear.
“Mommy, I want to go to the parade and see Santa Clause,” he informed me.
“Now, you know what we believe about Santa Clause, don’t you,” I reminded him. I’ve never taught them to believe in Santa, but we all need refreshers.
“Is Santa real?”
I pause, staring at him in disbelief.
“No, he’s not!” I hadn’t realized my voice had raised.
“Yes he is,” he countered, frowning at me.
“NO, HE’S NOT!”
So we have a brief stare down. I compose myself and decide to go over the whole December thing with him again.
“We know that Santa is just a story. You don’t believe that?”
“He’s real, Mommy. My teacher said he’s going to be in the parade.”
Maybe this is partially my fault. His teacher and I have a pretty good relationship. I trust her to educate my child. Although I should have known, it never occurred to me that my son would take her word over mine. I tried to come up with a good way to show him that his teacher was the right person to listen to, except now. I could come up with nothing. So, the whole family had an impromptu Bible lesson right then and there.
We discussed the meaning of Christmas and what it is not. It is not about Jesus’ birth. It is not about decorated houses, trees, doors, reindeer etc. I was pleased to see that they recalled our lessons from the past year about the subject. They understood that Christians adopted this pagan holiday and slapped Jesus’ name and birth date on it. I was pleased to hear the responses to my questions. So, I go back to my young confused son.
“So, if you believe this, why would you say Santa is real?”
“Mommy, he’s got a face and hands and skin like me,” he answered.
Now, I am picturing the guy at the mall sitting on his fake throne. My skin is starting to burn.
“But baby, he’s just wearing a costume. He’s not a Santa. Santa is not real.”
“Yes!” My little boy is laughing now. “It’s a costume like a Halloween costume. But he’s still a real person.”
“So, you’re saying the man is real? Not Santa?”
“He’s only Santa when he’s wearing the suit, Mommy.”
He’s looking at me as if I had lost my mind. And maybe I did step out for a second or two. Maybe I overreacted to his comments about Santa. But this interaction made me realize that I have to work twice as hard to make sure my children don’t swallow the lies this world will feed to them everyday. I’m a working mom with limited means. I don’t have the luxury of sending them to private school (if it were any better) or staying home with them. I can’t expect these schools to respect my beliefs and teachings. After all, these are the same people who made it illegal to pray in school. Yet, they have the right to push their pagan beliefs onto my children. It is not right. But what can I expect from a world that is governed by the enemy.
2 Corinthians 4:1-6
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
My children will get a taste of the real world a little early (as most kids in school do). Their exposure to things outside of the home is inevitable. It is my job to prepare them to combat those evil elements with the word of God.