Merry Thanksmas, y’all. Halloween is only a memory now and we’re headlong into that conglomerated holiday season that rides in on the Mayflower and out with jingling sleigh bells.
holidays go, I like Thanksgiving. There just seems to be more time to actually
take a holiday, maybe because it’s always a four day weekend. Even though I
enjoy Thanksgiving, I’m already thinking about Christmas. I don’t think I’m the
only one in that boat. A stroll through most any retail establishment is proof.
I was a little girl, this is the time of year my mother began repeating, “If
your room is not clean, Santa won’t stop here.” There were probably other
behavior modification persuasion tactics Mom used, but that’s the one I
remember. It was time to be on our best behavior. If I wasn’t already, it was
time to be a good girl so that good things would come to me on Christmas Eve.
mother also often quoted the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem that begins with, “There
was a little girl, who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good she was very, very good, and when she was bad she was
rest of that poem goes on to talk about the little girl doing something
annoying like jumping on the bed. Her mother was not happy about it. I guess my
mother could relate.
suppose I always wanted to hear, “You’re a good girl!”
all made a lot of assessments about good or not good based on performance. I do
it to myself quite frequently. If I finish a project before a deadline or
without any errors, then I’m pleased with myself. It makes me feel pretty good
and boosts my confidence on the next project.
someone does something really well, like kicking a 50-yard field goal and
making the extra point, we want to stand up and cheer. When we manage to stay
on the bench the entire game and not get our uniform dirty, nobody wants to
yell “Woo hoo, good job!” about that. I think most of us spend more days on the
bench than we do kicking field goals.
it’s hard to feel good about myself if I haven’t done anything that warrants an
accolade with the word “good” in it. There are days when I don’t get a single
gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are filled with stories about Jesus
doing marvelous good things like giving sight to blind people, healing long
term illnesses, making lame legs able to withstand bodyweight again, calming
storms, and making dead people alive again. He performed miracle after miracle.
no way I can live up to all that good. Thankfully, my performance is not the
basis for God’s love for me. Jesus performing miracles is not the reason God
heard God say, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew
3:17). The significant thing about that is when and where Jesus was when he
was standing in the Jordan River, just emerging from the water after being
baptized, when he heard his Father affirm that he had done well and was loved.
At that point Jesus had not even turned water into wine. Not a single miracle.
Yet, God was telling him, “Good job, Son. I love you.” The one thing Jesus had
done that day was acknowledge he was there to fulfill the righteous plan of his
the same for us. We cannot earn God’s satisfaction or love. We get those things
when we rest in His plan, rest in His activity, and rest in His performance.
I could use the rest this Thanksmas.
Originally posted November 13, 2016 at www.walterborolive.com