The Science of Christmas…

Yeah, I love a provocative title.  You know this by now.  Over half the time I contradict in the first paragraph that which I have titled the blog entry, so this should come as no shock to you.  But what about the title bothers you, if anything?  It should bother you by the way, but maybe not for the reasons you know.

The Feeling

I make no secret this is a tough time of year for the memories that come flooding back to me and those around me.  We lost my Mother-in-Law Barb, just after my wife and I were married.  Christmas time by many accounts is a great time of celebration, consideration, and love.  We tend to give it special emphasis, although I often wonder why we can’t get it through our heads that doing so the rest of the year is good as well.  But, that’s a blog for another day.  We laid Barb to rest in the Christmas season.  If you tie that to the fact Christmas time offered fond memories for my wife when few other rays of sunshine existed for her as a child, it is especially hard for her.  I love my wife.  By extension this means, when she hurts I hurt for her in kind.

Our best of friends lost their daughter Mira, the inspiration for this blog, on Christmas Eve.  To say ‘we’ lost her is the Mount Everest of understatements.  There were so many people spiritually and personally invested in her journey that the reverberations still can be felt.  I don’t like a black cloud associated with any time of year.  Some feel that way about September 11th.  I do not.  Some feel that way about a particular time of year and it usually circles death or great tragedy.  I do not.

This isn’t a scenario where I have made myself void of feeling or blind to the needs of others.  I haven’t mastered some sort of method to curb my sensitivities.  Quite the contrary.  I feel more deeply and submerge myself into emotion in the truest sense of empathy I can summon when certain annual occasions arise.  I simply look at this through a different lens now.  Am I slapped in the face when I walk around the corner and see my wife crying when she thinks nobody is around?  Sure.  It cuts me to the core.  Do I catch Mitch and Michelle staring off into space occasionally when we’re with them?  I do.  I know they’re thinking about Mira, or what she’d be doing with her friends at that age, or what sports she’d play, or what career she’d choose, or what her wedding would be like.  I know they think about things like that all the time.  I see it.  Truth be told, I do the same.  I wonder what those things would be like for Mira and KK together.  I wonder what Christmas morning would’ve been like if Barb had ever been able to hold her grandchildren.  I’m no monster – I have feelings.

The Science

When I speak of the “science” of Christmas I should be more specific.  I’m not actually referring to science in the traditional sense.  People tend to place science at odds with God.  Too many can’t understand the relationship of the two, so they place them across from one another.  Terrible idea…  Really, science is a ton of fun.  I have heard it said by people I admire, all of which I’m referring to are doctors or scientists, that science is truly the exploration of things as far as they can go before invoking God.  That’s paraphrasing quite a bit of lecture into one thought, but essentially that nails it.

Science has a lot of benefit, and I use it routinely.  I work with metallurgy daily and without science I wouldn’t be good at what I do.  That’s important to me.  Yet, science has nothing to say about the things of utmost importance to me.  Love, fidelity, honor, truth, justice, and so on don’t share science.  Those cornerstones within our practicing faith mean more to us all than the pour point of 7014 Aluminum, do they not?

My Conclusion

So what science am I referring to?  I’m referring to the plan essentially.  Not His plan, but ours.  I prepare for Christmas differently now.  I apply a plan, in this case similar to a scientific outline, to my preparation and probable execution of the upcoming time of year.  In essence, I know those ‘tough’ times are coming, so I prepare.  Maybe ‘science’ is a poor word and ‘methodology’ would suit.  Either way you get my meaning.  I know emotions, memories, and feelings are coming.  Not only am I going to feel it, but more importantly others are.  So I employ a bit more sensitivity to others than I ordinarily may.  Thinking about how they may be feeling so not only can I relate personally, but be helpful whenever a need arises, will make a difference for them.  Prayers take a different shape because the needs are different during these times.

I could go on, but you catch my drift.  I’ve put together a plan for how I’m going to approach what lies ahead of me.  I’m going to do so with Him at the forefront, as I get my guidance on the best ways to do so from biblical knowledge.  I combine my passion and caring as defined by God with the plan of application I came up with that suits the situation.  It is simple.  But…  While simple, too few of us actually follow through.  We get caught up, stumble, or run out of stamina.  Just as the season may be ‘tough’ for some, dealing with it is ‘tough’ in and of itself.  Thus, the reliance on a plan and adherence to His Word.

I’m not sure I get all this right as often as I should, but I know I’d be doing a lot worse if I weren’t saved.  Thank you Jesus for the gift of Salvation.  I can seek light and be salt.  I shall do that.

Merry Christmas friends…

Titus 3:1-11 – Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy statement; and concerning these things I want you to speak confidently, so that those who have believed God will be careful to engage in good deeds. These things are good and profitable for men. But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless. 10 Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,11 knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

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