We do not value what we think we deserve
If we don’t get what we deserve we feel the frustration of injustice. We are incensed, angry! We will not rest until we get our due.
But once we get it things change. What we deserve is normal. It is like air or water or the ground beneath our feet. We ignore it.
It becomes worthless, after all it’s only what we deserve, right?
In this age of social equality, self-declared self esteem and unlimited perceived rights we are inundated with messages of how important and worthwhile we are.
According to commercials we can,”Have it your way. Because you’re worth it. American by Birth. Rebel by Choice. I am what I am. Impossible is Nothing. Your vision. Our future.”
For us, only the best will do,”When you got it, flaunt it. The ultimate driving machine. Just Do It. Impossible is nothing. The customer is always and completely right.”
What advertisers, politicians, copywriters, screenwriters, store owners, networks, studio execs, singers and stars will never, ever tell you is what you did wrong.
That would be a downer. It wouldn’t sell albums or advertising or Triple-Dipper Crock Pots.
There’s nothing wrong with fist fights breaking out at Walmart over Black Friday, high-threadcount sheets. There’s nothing wrong with twerking or tweaking or playing the knock out game as long as you cooperate and spend the right way.
Oh, and never ever point out our shortcomings either. There is no sin as long as you spend. That’s the deal. S.W.A.C.C. – sealed with a credit card.
I Know Me
The problem is that I know me too well. I don’t believe I’m always and completely right. Neither do my kids or my wife . . . or pretty well anyone else who knows me.
To think otherwise is ridiculous. If Santa’s any good at keeping a naughty list then we’re all on it. And we really don’t deserve a break today.
The last thing I want in life is what I really and truly deserve.
The Christmas I Don’t Deserve
Christmas, as miraculous as it is, is only the beginning of a life like no other. Jesus came. That is incredible. God in the flesh. A baby you could hold. A soft head you could kiss.
But the point of Christmas, the result of that life, was the redemption of humanity. That’s bigger. That’s better.
But the cost was horrific. A life given in my place. The end of Christmas.
More Than I Deserve
I didn’t earn that. There is no right that justifies a life being sacrificed in my place, much less an innocent life.
Christmas is far beyond what I deserve. It is beyond my wildest imagination. It is beyond a dream come true, for my dreams could never imagine such a magnificent thing as grace, love undeserved, forgiveness, the gift of life itself, unending.
The Christmas You Deserve
So, if you wish to content yourself with the Christmas you deserve, your task is simple.
Buy presents. Go to parties. Sing carols. Watch holiday movies. Donate a toy. May even go to church once. It’s easy.
In the end, Christmas will give way to louder celebrations of the New Year, presents will be returned or exchanged, January will slip into February and all will be as it was the year before.
The Christmas You Were Given
But if you dare to imagine, for even a fleeting moment, such an outrageous thing as the Christmas you don’t deserve, one of Hope and Forgiveness and Purpose and Love, a Christmas designed for you by God Himself, then you will never again have to settle for what you deserve.
And you will never take Christmas for granted again.
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those
with whom he is pleased!”
Photo: Reflections On A Rebar Christmas Tree by Dennis Ritchie