Friday, November 25, 2011

The Reason

Stephen R Covey has been credited with the saying "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing." While not necessarily even religious in nature, I find this statement to be particularly true when describing one's Christian walk. Perhaps moreso at this time of year than any other, when the world seeks to distract us with doorbuster sales and lit-up houses and flying reindeer and sugarplum fairies and fat men in red suits.

How do YOU keep the main thing the main thing during this time of year? Do you have any special traditions that keep the focus on Christ during the Christmas season?

One thing I've done in years past, and that I'm doing again this year, is to listen to nothing but Christmas music from Thanksgiving until Christmas. I listen to music like a fish drinks water. All day long at work, in the car, at home. A lot. All of that is going to be Christmas music for the next month.

Understand, also, that when I say "Christmas music", I'm talking about songs and carols that herald the birth of my savior Jesus Christ. I'm not talking about "holiday music" that sings of Rudolph or jingling bells or chestnuts roasting over an open fire. At best, those songs remind me of my more selfish years when I thought that Christmas was all about me and scoring as many great toys as possible. At worst, those songs actively irritate me, as they attempt, and succeed, at ripping the focus of the season away from The Main Thing.

On my morning commute today, I had tears in my eyes as I heartily sang "Joy To the World" in my car along with Third Day. It was wonderful. I look forward to another month's worth of celebrating Jesus' birth. How about you?


  1. I definitely think music is a great way to keep the main thing the main thing. Also, when I was younger (and even as a teenager really) my mom and I would always make a cake on Christmas that said "Happy Birthday Jesus." Even though his birthday may or may not have been December 25th, his birth is certainly the thing we are most thankful for at this time of year and having a visual reminder of that celebration really had an impact on me. It's a tradition I hope to carry on with my own kids someday.

  2. Even though the same holiday rolls around every year, there is something so special about Christmas. It takes on an air of mystery and magic to me. I think part of the reason stems from a childhood where presents appeared around a tree, people were friendlier, I may wake up to a snow-covered landscape - everything transformed. I feel like a kid again in some ways even now. And I like that. It's not all non-religious either. There is a mystery and 'magic' with the incarnation of Jesus, with salvation. Jesus spoke of the importance of faith like a childs. If you follow the etymology of the word magic back you get to the place where it meant 'to have power'. And this season does for me.