Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)
TITLE: An Ordinary Christmas
By Elizabeth White
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My story would have proceeded to give a picture of the girlís despair. She was not in the light, she was in darkness. Maybe she was in a youth detention center or living on the streets. So, my second light was not really a light at all, but darkness, a light which had been snuffed out. Perhaps I would have included a flashback to her previous life, a life full of light, joy, and opportunity and contrasted it with the girl today, full of hopelessness and despair. That was the second Christmas light. Darkness.
My third Christmas light, Jesus. Jesus is the light. So, in my unwritten story someone introduces the girl to the real light of Christmas. She is given hope, true joy and a future. That was the third light of Christmas. Hope.
However, I am not that girl. I cannot write that story.
I will be honest, my story is not special. It is not exciting. My life is not as interesting as the girl. Not interesting, not exciting, no; but real.
The first Christmas light. My first Christmas light. Conviction. I have never felt a strong conviction from God about any one thing, but he is changing me. Slowly... This time itís been about my selfishness. On the surface everything seems fine. When I shared this with a friend they actually said that it wasnít true, but God alone can see our heart. This is the selfishness that says, Iím going to think about myself. Itís the voice that says I feel down so Iím going to be miserable and not try to reach out to anybody else. Itís the thought that wishes everyone would help me, without taking the time to care for others. Itís this that keeps me from praying for others, from seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, dwelling on myself instead.
My second Christmas light. Darkness. Iíve been there. Not like the girl. Iíve never had any significant major negative event happen in my life. There have been times when Iíve felt the darkness. Times when doing all the little things are so much harder, when it takes so much more effort to work or study. Days when I canít see where God is taking me. I know heís there though. Somehow that feels worse, if only there was a major event, then it would be real, then I would be allowed to feel that way without comparing myself to others.
My third Christmas light. Hope. Jesus is the real Christmas light. He is the light. Yet, so often I find myself not walking in his light, but choosing my own way instead. No, itís not as obvious as the girl. Itís in the little things. Calling the old lady from church to see how she is, making a card for a friend, or taking half an hour to pray. It is seeking first HIS Kingdom and HIS Righteousness.
My fourth Christmas Light. Truth.
Itís about following the one who is truth.
Itís about being real and honest with one another as a family in Christ. That doesnít mean acting miserable around certain people, itís about sharing our struggles with one another in Christ out of strength, not weakness.
Itís about being ďthe lightĒ. Love is shown through action.
My title for this story was going to be ďA different kind of ChristmasĒ, full of dramatic circumstances far removed from my reality, but I think Iíll call it ďAn ordinary ChristmasĒ instead. Iím happy to be me, just ordinary.
So this Christmas, Iím going to look for the light. Iím going to stop running from the light and let it reveal my weaknesses instead. Iím going to let the light change me. Slowly. Iím going to listen. I will Seek first HIS kingdom. No it wonít all go according to plan, Iíll probably fall down tomorrow, but I have THE Light to guide my way.
So, this is my story. Itís not special, but it is real.
ďSeek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you.Ē Matthew 6:33
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