I’ve been struggling lately. Plainly worded, I turned my eyes away from God and let them focus on sin.

Much of my disappointment comes from an expectation of what Christmas “ought” to be for me and my family. If it’s not creative and wishful thinking, then it’s sinful thoughts that cloud my head and judgement. Which is also to say that I’ve lost focus of who this holiday is for: Jesus.

I’m sure there are millions of people who feel let down this Christmas. The recession, lay-offs, and financial crises will make many families feel crunched, many children left without gifts, and many parents broken-hearted because they can’t provide.

My own disappointment comes because things haven’t gone as I wanted, and, as I tend towards selfishness most of the time, when my plans don’t work out, I get frustrated. My wife has first-hand experience of this, and for that I am truly sorry.

I don’t know why I had such rosy pictures of Christmas this year. Last year’s Christmas, as our first one together in Canada, was spectacularly anti-climactic. Having thought that this year would be better, I had high hopes. And with high hopes, the drop is much farther.

The central problem is where I stand in relationship to God. These past few days have been “me-centered,” instead of “God-centered.” I too often want to please me instead of pleasing God. I excuse my selfish ways by saying, “Oh, you’ve worked hard,” or “You deserve a break from everything,” when in fact, none of that is true. God deserves my attention more than anything else.  Christmas is about Christ: it’s not about gifts, not merely about fun and snow and goodies, and not entirely about friends and family.

If you’re feeling let down, disheartened, disappointed, or simply sinful, don’t let it consume you. Turn to God. Make this Christmas count, because Jesus made it count.

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