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 girl’s 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 it’s been about my selfishness. On the surface everything seems fine. When I shared this with a friend they actually said that it wasn’t true, but God alone can see our heart. This is the selfishness that says, I’m going to think about myself. It’s the voice that says I feel down so I’m going to be miserable and not try to reach out to anybody else. It’s the thought that wishes everyone would help me, without taking the time to care for others. It’s 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. I’ve been there. Not like the girl. I’ve never had any significant major negative event happen in my life. There have been times when I’ve 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 can’t see where God is taking me. I know he’s 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, it’s not as obvious as the girl. It’s 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.
It’s about following the one who is truth.
It’s about being real and honest with one another as a family in Christ. That doesn’t mean acting miserable around certain people, it’s about sharing our struggles with one another in Christ out of strength, not weakness.
It’s about being “the light”. Love is shown through action.
My title for this story was going to be “A different kind of Christmas”, full of dramatic circumstances far removed from my reality, but I think I’ll call it “An ordinary Christmas” instead. I’m happy to be me, just ordinary.
So this Christmas, I’m going to look for the light. I’m going to stop running from the light and let it reveal my weaknesses instead. I’m going to let the light change me. Slowly. I’m going to listen. I will Seek first HIS kingdom. No it won’t all go according to plan, I’ll probably fall down tomorrow, but I have THE Light to guide my way.
So, this is my story. It’s not special, but it is real.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you.” Matthew 6:33
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