Saturday, December 9, 2017
by Doug Hasler
When Rev. Mike asked about devotionals, having forgotten to do so earlier, I actually felt better! He is a guy who has been in charge for years, and even he forgets, misplaces, misunderstands, etc. I’m glad I’m not the only one. When memorable holidays were (I believe) the topic, my mind immediately went back to two events. Both reminded me that it isn’t where you are, it’s who you are, and what you make of it. All reactions we have are a personal choice. We can make a negative a positive, or let one bad thing in a day of good ruin that day.
In 1985 I was on the road with “Up With People.” I’d been on the road 10 months by that time and was looking forward to parking my suitcase and chaining myself to a tree! By that time, we’d covered 38 states and 9 countries, and done over 170 shows. I was tired, and longing for America. Thanksgiving Day found me in Vasteras, Sweden with a fellow cast mate from Indiana. Since they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, my host family was at work. Mark and I found the day to ourselves in a rare day off, and it was Thanksgiving Day to boot. I called home and made them tell me everything that was on the table – sure sounded good. Mark and I were longing for that food! We then found out that there was a McDonald’s in town. (They were rare in Europe at that time.) We decided to treat ourselves by walking 3 miles into town on a snowy day and have Big Macs, fries, and a glass of beer. (Yes, European McDonald’s serve beer!) We laughed, shared Thanksgiving stories, and had the best time in the world. On the long walk home, cold, sleepy and full, we talked about how this holiday meant much more than usual. It was what we made it to be.
Another Thanksgiving (could be any holiday), my daughter, Corie, was a new nurse in St. Louis and had to work. I didn’t like the idea of my little girl, who worked the night shift, having the evening alone on Thanksgiving. So, I drove down, spent the day and had Thanksgiving dinner with her at Denny’s. She got the last of the turkey loaf. We laughed and laughed, and had a wonderful time. It is what we made it to be. It isn’t always about traditions, specific people, certain foods. It’s about our attitude and what we choose to believe.
So, during this Christmas season, remember we are blessed beyond measure to have food, friends, a church family, and our own family. That’s all we need here on earth and Christ is all we need – ever.
TODAY: Pray for a family with high school/junior high youth by name.