It’s Christmas Eve, by the time you read this it will be Christmas.
These twelve days have been so meaningful to me. I have had good and bad days, but through this process I have been forced to stop and really think about what, and in some cases who, I am thankful for every day. It’s amazing how easy the good can be overshadowed by the bad, how the negative is easier to believe than the positive. It takes a conscience effort to keep my mind on what is good and true.
I plan to keep the thankfulness challenge up in my journal. Gratefulness is something I want to become a habit. Life just looks and feels better when viewed through the lens of a thankful heart.
I’m sitting in the living room with my kids watching our traditional “Polar Express” movie. We have watched this movie every Christmas since it came out in 2004. Sometimes more than once. There is just something magical about this story and the power of believing, of building character qualities, learning compassion and being a good friend.
It never grows old.
If you have seen this movie, you remember that the little boy who was having trouble believing in Santa could not hear the bells of Christmas because of his doubt. Even after all the perils he’d been through while travelling to the North Pole on the Polar Express, all the miraculous times he was saved, he still struggled.
Finally, when it feels like he will never really believe, he closed his eyes and speaks to himself, “I believe, I believe.” It took an hour and a half worth of dilemmas and near death experiences to convince him. But once he spoke the words and really meant them in his heart, he was able to hear the bells.
I know this is fiction, but can you see the parallel? This is so often what we do in our day to day lives. The Lord is working all around us, we are saved from who knows what perils and many good folks are sent our way to love and encourage us. Blessing upon blessing and we still “don’t hear.”
That’s what I feel this journey to thankfulness has done for me. It’s helped me to believe more deeply so I can see and hear more clearly what God is doing and saying in my life.
As the story comes to an end, Santa gives the first gift of Christmas, remember? He gives the little boy one of the bells off of his sleigh. It was one of the highlights of the movie for me. I can relate. My first gift this Christmas has been to “hear” God at work. And it is beautiful. Just like the bells of Christmas.
When the thrill of the Christmas tree lighting in the North Pole was over and it was time to board the train and travel home, the conductor stood at the door and punched the tickets of all the passengers on the magic train. On each child’s ticket he punched the name of a character quality that they’d either learned or exhibited. That made me think, I wonder what would be punched on my “ticket?” I know what I would like it to say, and I will make that my life goal.
I love this movie, I love our tradition and I love Christmas.
Christmas Eve was a success.
Another highlight from Polar Express is the song that Josh Groban sings while the credits are rolling. I believe it applies all year long.
Believe in what your heart is sayin’ Hear the melody that’s playin’ There’s no time to waste There’s so much to celebrate
Believe in what you feel inside And give your dreams the wings to fly You have everything you need If you just believe