Christmas is so hustle and bustle. It's hard to find the time to enjoy it, really. We are hectic shoppers, and busy, busy, busy with everything else going on, and sometimes we tend to forget to slow down and reflect on what makes this time of year so very special - like the stories that ground us - the little things that make our lives feel festive year round whenever we pause to reflect on them.
A while back I was looking through the things that had collected inside the cabinet of one of our end tables at home, when I rediscovered my collection of bibles. I have a few. One 1948 Bible belonged to my great-grandmother, Hettie Frost. In it, she wrote down different dates invovling her children. I also found the first Bible I ever owned, a red-letter King James Version Nelson bible given to me by my mom and dad during Christmas of 1972. I was 13. It has a zipper on it. I loved that Bible. As a matter of fact, I have discarded my newer KJV Bible, and am now proudly using that one again. There's something about doing that, and it's kinda hard to pinpoint or explain, but it just feels better. It feels right doing that, somehow.
Another Bible that caught my eye was one that I had used through most of the 90's. Inside the front cover, on one of the blank pages, I found this notation about something that happened to me.
The date was November 24, 2001. It was a Saturday morning. I was in the bathroom shaving, when suddenly Elijah appeared in the doorway. As he stood there watching me with shaving cream on my face, I began playing a game with him by carving out a funny looking beard and then funny mustaches, etc. I would even add more shaving cream to keep it going. He was getting a big kick out of it and I was enjoying watching him laugh at me. We were having fun. And then, right in the middle of our game, he suddenly exclaimed, "I wish I was you, Dad!" I said, "Why's that, bud?" He replied, "Because you're a great Dad!" When he said that, I looked down at him and he was looking right at me. And, the way his big blue eyes were sparkling after what he had just said to me is something I shall never forget.
"Lord, please help me to hold up to his expectations. And, when I can't, please help him to forgive me. Help me to be the kind of father to my children that you would have me to be. I know that if I strive to live up to your expectations, I will live up to theirs." Amen.