Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Best Christmas Blog Ever

I wrote an interesting post for this blog. I think it might have been my best blog post ever. It was all about Advent and Christmas and how God works in your life. It was called “Planting Grass in Winter.” Too bad you will never read it.

I lost it. No, my dog did not eat my homework. I don’t have a dog. My cat did not eat it either. The hard drive on my laptop crashed, and I lost it. It was a good thing that I had just printed the week’s sermon an hour earlier, or my congregation would have gotten an excuse like this on Sunday morning.

I had backed up most of my important documents, but I lost everything I had been working on that day, including that article and some other things. I also lost all my software because I did not have the good sense to make a recovery disk.

Then I lost a lot of time calling the retail store where I bought the computer (they weren’t any help) and the computer manufacturer, (more helpful). I spent quality time listening to elevator music while on hold waiting to talk with a human. The laptop was only six months old! It should not have failed. I was not a happy preacher. The bad holiday music did not help.

But then I thought: why not make lemonade? You know, when life gives you lemons ….  Life always throws us curves. Things never turn out the way we expect. We are traveling along the road of life, minding our own business, when all of a sudden our hard drive crashes. Or something more serious.

A broken computer is a minor inconvenience compared to other things that come our way. Cancer, Alzheimer's, divorce, family conflict, death, financial problems, etc. But the principle is the same. We can catch the pass we are thrown or fumble the ball. (I’ve been watching the Patriots.)

Personally I believe that God is in control and that all things work out for good, even when I cannot see the good clearly. That goes for holidays. Christmas never turns out exactly like we expect. The Norman Rockwell paintings are not always replicated in our dining rooms.

Even the first Christmas did not turn out the way Mary and Joseph planned. A barn in a strange town was not Mary’s first choice of birthing venues. Fleeing the murderous intentions of King Herod and living as refugees in Egypt was not Joseph’s plan for his son’s early childhood years.

But then there was the good stuff too. Serenaded by angels, the star of Bethlehem, visited by kings – gold, frankincense and myrrh. Pretty cool! God knows how to do it right, even if it is not how we would have done it.

The holidays might not turn out exactly the way we want. That is alright. It is even alright to be sad when things are not the way we want. That is why we have a Blue Christmas service at our church. The holidays don’t have to live up to society’s expectations. God is still in control, just like he was the first Christmas.