Getting Ahead: ‘Christmas comes but once a year’

By John G. Pfeifer - Religion Writer

From my childhood I have so looked forward to Christmas. When I was a child I could hardly wait for the presents I would get. I would go to bed and dream of Christmas day when I could open those presents that I would receive. I was so anxious that before Christmas day I would snoop through the closets and hiding places in the house to see if I would find some of those presents. I was so looking forward to getting those gifts that I was consumed by the thoughts of them. I cannot imagine the disappointment I would have experienced if I did not get what I wanted for Christmas.

As I got older, I found that Christmas was only one of 365 days in a year. As I started to grow up I found that most days presented challenges and rewards, not Christmas presents. My dad would lay out work for us to do, then reward us for the work we accomplished. If we did not get the work done to his satisfaction we were not rewarded. Through all of those experiences I learned that there is satisfaction in accomplishment. I could stand back and look at the work that I had completed to dad’s satisfaction, and feel good.

It wasn’t long before I realized that there was as much joy in giving as receiving. I stopped snooping for the presents that I was going to receive and started wrapping the ones I was going to give to others. At that point Christmas took on a whole new meaning in my life. I started to be thankful for what I had and to take responsibility for my life. I did not always make the right choice, but I was the one who suffered the consequences for those wrong choices. When I made the right choice I experienced the reward for it.

Is it possible for someone to remain in the receiving part of their life expecting gifts 365 days a year? What does it take to mature from childhood to becoming a responsible adult? Could it be that selfish people have never experienced the joy in giving or the satisfaction of accomplishment? Are most of those people bitter because the present is not what they wanted it to be? Is it too late for those people to experience a joyful life?

These and other life questions will be addressed Sunday morning as “The Gathering Place Family” meets in the Washington Junior High School Library for Bible Study at 9:30 and in the gymnasium at 10 a.m. for our Pre-Service Connection where we enjoy coffee, juice and donuts. Our Worship Service and Children’s Church then begin at 10:30. Come at 7 p.m. and be part of our Wednesday night Bible Study and Children’s Ministry on the third floor above Trends at 120 W. Court St. in Washington Court House.

By John G. Pfeifer

Religion Writer