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Act As If

Description

If you're not feeling the Christmas spirit, then act as if you do!

Prepare ye the way of the Lord .... —Mark 1:3 (kjv)

Christmas was coming, but I wasn’t feeling it. It was way too early for carols to be pouring out of hidden speakers everywhere: “Away in a manager, no crib for a bed ...” “Round yon virgin, mother and child ....” When I heard Perry Como croon, “Do you hear what I hear?” I felt like snapping, “No, I don’t!” Wreaths with bright red bows, evergreens festooned with twinkling lights, jolly department store Santas did nothing for me. Was I turning into some sort of Scrooge? “You haven’t even set candles in the windows,” my wife, Carol, said.

I sighed. One more thing to do. Soon the boys would be home from college, and if I didn’t get to work, nothing about the house would say, “Christmas is coming! Welcome home!” I found the box with plastic candles at the top of the hall closet. I gathered up extension cords and went outside to clip some evergreens.

“Act as if,” Norman Vincent Peale used to say. If you didn’t feel positive, if your faith was flagging, act as if you believed and belief followed. Okay, I would act as if I was thrilled with Christmas coming. I found an old CD of carols and put it on.

I untangled the cords, tested the bulbs, positioned three candles in the three windows facing the drive in our apartment complex, and put greens around them. I started humming along with the music: “O, little town of Bethlehem ...” I waved to a neighbor walking by, laden with shopping bags.

I plugged in the lights, then went outside to admire my handiwork. “Come,” the candles seemed to say. “Come, Lord, come,” my spirit could say. If welcoming God was at the heart of this hectic, crazy, overstuffed season, I was ready. “As if ” was turning to “As is.”

I went back inside. I had some presents to wrap.

Let me prepare in my heart, Lord, as I prepare my home, a place for Your coming. —Rick Hamlin
Digging Deeper: Ps 19:14; Rv 3:20

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