They tell us that the Christmas season is one of the most stressful times of the year. We like to think of it as one big party, but for many it is not. It is a time that puts more emphasis upon relationships and we remember more deeply lost loved ones, children and family separated by miles or sometimes hurt or anger. For far too may rather than being a time of celebration it is a time of regret.
I love the story a preacher told about his grandfather. It seems that there was a terrible thunderstorm that swept through Southern Kentucky at the farm where his family had lived for six generations. In the orchard the wind blew over an old pear tree that had been there as long as anyone could remember. His grandfather was saddened to lose the tree in which he had climbed and played as a boy. He had eaten it’s fruit all of his life and enjoyed its beauty.
A neighbor came by and said, “I’m really sorry to see your pear tree blown down.” “I’m sorry too,” said the old man. “It was a real part of my past.” “Well what are you going to do now,” the neighbor asked? The old man paused for a moment and then said, “I’m going to pick the fruit and burn what is left.”
Don’t you wish you could handle difficult times with that determination? There are so many things in our past that we cling to which maybe should be letting go. We need to learn the lesson that old man knew. We need to enjoy the pleasures of those memories then go on with the present as well as the future. If you can’t, you will always be handicapped in dealing with both the present and the future.
Jesus put it this way in Luke 9:57-62, “As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow You wherever You go.” But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay His head.” He said to another person, “Come, follow Me.” The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.” Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow You, but first let me say good-bye to my family.” But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
Could it be that you need to let go? I’m not saying to forget, but to enjoy the memories and then move on to enjoy the present and the future.
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.