Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Lights (10/30/08)
TITLE: Light Affliction
By Frank Salerni
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There is nothing more satisfying than to kick back and enjoy a labor of love. So then why, oh, tell me WHY, do I insist on tempting God with the loss of my salvation so soon after the holiday of Thanksgiving?
How can I be content to laugh, love and reflect on the greatness of God one day, and the next be consumed with a Christmas season deadline that starts with the question, “How fast can I get my lights up on my house?”
I used to think that I was merely being a good example to my neighbors of Christmas spirit, not to mention being the epitome of non-procrastination by being the first to win the race to receiving the highest electric bill on earth. Oh yes, I’m sure our house was the talk around the water cooler in the electric companies lunchroom.
I’m so glad that I painstakingly put back last year’s lights with care. I never could figure out how they could be such a mess just sitting in our garage waiting for the next Christmas. I still believe some unknown holiday gremlin sneaks in and like a poltergeist and laughs with glee as he reeks havoc with our, once working, now tangled, missing bulb encrusted seven thousand yards of mismatched, never to be used again, ball of barbed wire we call our beautiful Christmas light display.
I spend hours in the rain, because it is not quite cold enough to snow, (another plot to rob me of my joy, I’m sure) trying to untangle and recreate the perfectly eloquent mysteries of last year’s gala display. Oh, and by the way… my wife takes dozens of photographs just to make sure I could get the lights back EXACTLY the way they were last year. Thanks dear, how thoughtful!
Why don’t any of the replacement bulbs fit the sockets in last years light strands? Why? So I have to buy new ones, how silly of me. I even bought one of those bulb checkers to make my life easer, but alas, it took me hours of testing, and thinking everything was fine, only to find out that the battery that make them work was dead. Of course you can’t buy a replacement battery, because they upgrade every year to improve your light hanging experience.
When it’s all said and done I must admit my heart fills with joy at the sight of all those wonderful, magical lights. My heart fills with joy, but my ears fill with the sound of the electric meter spinning out of control to keep up with the dollars being spent to flood the night with light.
When will I ever learn?
God’s economy is quite different. He said, "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matt. 5:14 NKJV
(I’ll bet He’s glad I don’t run on batteries!)
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