Lines. Lines long. Lines short.
There are crooked lines, straight lines, fat lines and thin lines.
Lines wait the grocery store, lines pause at the gas station, lines configure in the cafeteria, lines form to vote and all other lines in human contact are ever with us.
Lines of traffic on the highways, lines on Grandmaís face, lines on notebook paper, and lines at the ice cream stand.
Lines that define our lives, lines we will not cross, lines drawn in the sand, lines we try to avoid.
And, yes, during the Christmas season, there are lines to see Santa Clause. We encourage our babies and children to sit on his lap and tell him their deepest desires, their wish lists of things they feel they canít live without. And then, we try to fulfill their dreams, since a single Santa cannot be everyplace at once. Sometimes their dreams are so out of reach, so impractical, so expensive, or so grandiose, they are disappointed on Christmas morning that the one thing they wanted most is absent. And, we try to explain why Santa was too busy or too tired or too far away to give them their deepest wish.
There is yet another line that we cannot physically see and that is the line Jesus Himself is standing in, leading to each and everyoneís heartís door. Short or long lines, crooked lines, straight lines, fat lines and thin lines--each personís line is as different and unique as his/her own self, filling the space between the human and the divine--with possessions, attitudes, idolized people in our lives, bad habits, and the things we value most. And Jesus, ever patient, stands there at the end of each line, waiting for us to welcome and reject the ones in front of Him before finally accepting His entry.
You see, there arenít any lines to see Jesus in the mall because no one needs to stand in line to see Him. Each of us stands before him separately and immediately at our barest whisper of a prayer. He is ever present, ever powerful, ever wise; and, unlike Santa, is, as the center of the universe, everywhere at once, listening to each heartís cry as if it was the only one and granting the deepest desires of any heart willing to believe in and obey Him.
Human lines, the lines we can visibly see, are ever present in the physical world and provide the means to teaching us patience. But these lines are not the real thing. It is the lines we cannot see that are real. What a topsy-turvy existence we live! The unimportant things (that can be seen) are valued, while the important things (that canít be seen) are too often ignored. We spend our lives on the mundane when we should be investing them in the eternal.
What line are you in?
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