"But I think the pies came out great," I said as we entered my sister's house yesterday, arms loaded with rolls, and two apple pies. Wrong again. Too much nutmeg in the apple pies. Not enough sugar. Not bad, but not good; although the hungrier of family members ate pie without much trouble.
It was not the most thankful and exhilarating of Thanksgivings, but it was real. And now it is Black Friday, where the retailers all hope the profits will be more than real. They hope they'll be outstanding.
My husband and daughter ventured out early this morning to do their Christmas shopping and have their monthly father-daughter date. They were happy to go out, my son was happy to sleep in, the dog went back to sleep, and I holed up in my usual place on the couch with my journal, Bible, and several books all about me.
I wrote in my journal about how I don't want my perspective on things. I'm tired of my perspective, and I'm tired of the world's perspective. I don't like the world's "celebration" of Christmas, either. It's an increasingly complex commercialized world. It's harder to keep connecting with people, keep warming yourself by the fire (particularly if you no longer live in a house with a fireplace, like we do now), harder to keep the sense of coziness and intimacy and wonder alive.
I don't want to write about how the world is becoming a hard place to live or how stressful the holidays are or how we need to link arms and sing "kum by yah" to get the fellowship feeling back. I would, though, like to at least acknowledge that it is more of an uphill climb, than ever, if you want to have a peaceful, peace filled, holy holiday.
Maybe you're also sensing that the odds are against us in the pursuit of a beautiful, meaningful Christmas celebration. I would have to agree with you. The odds are against us.
But of course, there is something better than "the odds". The odds can be against us, but if God is FOR us, then that cancels out the power of the odds.
I love the Mathmatics of the Kingdom. In God's Kingdom, you almost have to throw out what you learned in all your years of Math. For instance, we learned that if you multiply anything by zero it will always be zero. 1000 good things x zero = zero.
But in God's Reality, God's Kingdom, you can take zero and multiply it with God (His touch, His Power) and you can actually get something! You can have zero hope, multiply it with God's perspective, and now you have what I call Possibilities with a capital P.
Take also the other math formula: 1+1=2. Just two. Two puny little things, or two puny people. But in God's Kingdom take one believer plus one believer and you get a powerful presence of the Lord with you both, a smile that increases on your faces as you sense His enveloping presence. Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.–Matt. 18:20
It's wonderful relearning Math from God. I was never that strong in Math in the first place. (I am the verbal, literary type- can you tell?) So I don't think it's going to be too hard getting used to this New Kingdom Math.
Let me try it, right now. Take one person beaten down by the odds being against them, and filled with trepidation over trying to get this Christmas holiday "just right" for everybody. Now multiply this person by the power of God to free and uplift "all who are bowed down". Multiply this person's resources (zero) with God's abundant and mind blowing resources, and you get one person about to experience the most incredible journey he or she has ever had.
It's a journey not only through the holiday season, but a journey through life where at every juncture of your limitation, God's abundance is already there, although perhaps not yet seen.
And if you can just imagine the scope of what God can do, instead of what you can not, you will start to be interested in a subject you may have bombed in back in high school. Only this math has far more interesting ramifications for your life than that old math ever did.
I'm just keeping it real by remembering to crunch the numbers...God's way.