Wednesday, November 24, 2004

...Scrooge peered through the window. A small boy sat alone in the corner, reading a book. Scrooge's eyes grew wide. "It's me as a child! Buy why am I - why is he - sitting by himself?" Scrooge stared at the boy. "It's Christmas Day, isn't it?"

The ghost nodded, then asked, "And where is your parents?"

Scrooge frowned. "Working, I suppose. They worked to give me things I needed."

"And did they?" asked the ghost. She motioned toward the boy. "Did they give you want you needed?"

Scrooge studied the boy. He looked well-fed and well-dressed, but his eyes were sad and scared...

Most of us remember the grand story of The Christmas Carol, growing up as children. The ominous appearance of the three Christmas spirits, the stubborn steadfastness of Ebenezer and the eventual change of heart of the ruthless Scrooge. But many of us probably never gave a second thought to the powerful image of the little boy Ebenezer shown to Scrooge by the Spirit of Christmas Past. Just take one moment to place yourself in the place of this little boy, sad and scared and alone, on Christmas Day... while those he loves most are working... And then imagine this same scene occurring over and over again during his childhood. Does this condone Ebenezer's behavior at a later age? No, but it has helped me to better understand the situation he has found himself in Life and why it took three profound Spirits and several visages of his life to change his heart.

We become what we love, my friend. Be it money, power, fame, love, security, etc. It has been said so many times (paraphrased) that "where we spend our time, there we will find our heart." Scrooge's behavior is somewhat self-evident: what he lacked in love and needs, he tried during his lifetime to compensate with wealth... all the while keeping himself distant from anyone that might remotely care about him. And most likely, modeled to him by his parents. It's the perennial story for each of us. Where we spend our time, there we will find our heart - affecting not only our own life but so many of those around us and those entrusted to us.

For many, the season of Advent approaches where we each must look in the mirror and account for the person we are and becoming. And that person we are hasn't and doesn't occur all at once, but through repeated practice day after day after day, year after year. So as Advent - a period of reflection and preparation - begins, it is not only healthy, but cleansing to ask, "Where have I been spending my time this year?" and ultimately, "What am I becoming as a person? And what does it say about what I love in Life?"

It is soon to be another season of reflection and preparation; an opportunity for "God to bless us, everyone."

hoedl's haven
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2003