Wednesday, December 6, 2006
"If you don't believe, you won't receive."
Drawing from the experience of my older sister Cher (mother of three older children), I asked her, "What do you tell your children when they begin to realize there may not be a physical Santa Claus?"
Her response to me was simple but meaningful, "I told my children, 'The time you stop believing in Santa is the time when there won't be any stocking or Santa gifts.'"
I asked further, "And what was their response?"
She stated, "No one has told me yet that they don't believe in Santa Claus."
It dawned on me later that this might be a wonderful perspective to apply to more than just the legend and folklore of the jolly old elf.
Far too often we find others who have taken a rather negative perspective on life and we are easily able to articulate our feelings toward them. It's almost as if their heart stopped flowing; a personal choice to avoid pain, sorrow, connection, vulnerability... and in that personal choice, they 've chosen to believe that all other pain far outweighs compassion. And in their disbelief of compassion, they will most likely not receive compassion in return.
The very same situation may be said of those who do not believe in the higher principles and values of justice, mercy, faith, hope, conscience, trust, truth, honesty... and in their disbelief, they fail to act... and in their failure to act, they fail to receive mercy, faith, hope trust and justice in return.
On our very best day, we can each be seen as saints. And just as true, on our very worst day, we can each be seen as demons. Within each of us rests the potential for such glorious good and such gory bad - it just depends on how hard you and others look for it. It all depends on what you want to believe, my friend.
My father would say (paraphrased), "When you are able to look beyond the very person, search out and discover the Christ within, that person will be the friend you seek and so much more." So what are you looking for, my friend?
It is the perennial lesson of Life; the wondrous self-fulfilling prophecy. What you put into it is what you'll get out of it. What you sow is what you'll reap. What you believe is what you'll receive. So, again, I ask you, my friend, what is it you believe about Life? About you? About others? About faith? About compassion?
You deserve all that the goodness in this Life and beyond... and you deserve to believe in, seek out and celebrate that same goodness.
Post Note: Please notice that at the beginning of this reflection, I asked what to tell children when they begin to realize there may not be a physical Santa Claus. Between you and I, I believe there is a spiritual essence that drives us all to want to be and do good for others and ourselves. It may not be the St. Nick of the red suit, but it is an essence that calls to us be that grateful, gracious and selfless giver to others.
Is there an actual reindeer-drawn sleigh and a castle at the very center of the North Pole? I haven't seen the sleigh and I haven't visited the North Pole, but I do want to believe in the essence of a generous and compassionate soul, open and giving to all youthful spirits. Even more, I want to be that generous and compassionate soul for my children, family, friends and world. And in that belief, Santa has already visited my hearth and has filled my stocking - and heart - to the brim.
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