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Adventures Beyond the Comfort Zone

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

What Do I Say Now?

Talked to Dad last night... What I thought was turning out to be a sturdy Christmas substitute has crumbled just as quickly as I saw it go up... Was it the pressure of the imminent paper deadline? (If so, I don't ever want to research under pressure again...)

I may post the actual article sometime... I'll have to think about that for a while. Thanks to my good friend Matt, who happens to be chief editor of the paper, my potentially misguided writting will not be appearing in the paper on Friday.

I'm in a confusing place right now... My faith in God Himself is still sturdy... because I know I can trust Him to help me understand this, while all other sources have discredeted each other.

It's like starting from scratch. Everything I thought I new about holidays and holy days is scattered all over the ground in pieces. But maybe that's to my advantage. I can put a sturdier meaning and focus into the foundation of... whatever God directs me to rebuild.

In a way, it makes me think of how I tuned out what the everyone had to say about pre-marital dating and just focused on what I heard God telling me (mostly, via His Word). I had to tear down a lot of pre-concieved ideas and start over. But when I listened only to what God had to say, that's when He stepped in and did something amazing. He guided me to someone with all of the qualities the He had been training me to look for. One of which being that she also saw God's leading in what was happening. And you know the rest of the story; she's agreed to become my wife in 177 days.

Just like dating used to be for me... holidays no longer make sence to me. And it's God's perspective I want now more than anyone else's. Because I know from experience that He honors that.

(Of course, I'm not beneath asking for help in finding His perspective...)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Free Will

Do you know what I'm hearing in your comments?

I hear you defending our right to celebrate Christmas because of our free will. And at the same time, I hear you criticizing me for considering the exercise of my own free will to choose not to.

[hours later update: I don't always think about conveying the proper tone online... For instance, I don't mean for what I just said to sound angry or bitter, but later realized it could easily be taken that way. Ironic is what I was going for.]

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Did I Really Just Say That?

I've turned in my final submission for the school paper just a few hours ago... and it's finally setting in. I was assigned to write about the original meaning of Christmas, and was pumped to push Jesus to center stage...

But that's not how things turned out.

I guess I'd always known that there was some kind of pagan connection to some of our traditions, but had always just assumed they were minor or that it had been a Christian thing first. And because of that I blew off my initial research as being biased against Christians.

But then when I tried looking for historical information on specifically Christian sites, information was a little scarce. There was a lot of focus on the symbolic or sentimental components, but very little about how our traditions actually developed.

That scared me.

And then I came upon this. And what they had to say set my head spinning.

God never asked us to celebrate His birthday. And if He had, He certainly wouldn't have directed us to mimic the winter festivals of the pagans. He's always directed us to be different and stand apart.

God had set up His own feasts/festivals for us to celebrate. Somewhere along the way, we've lost track of these and allowed them to fade into obscurity. And instead we've adopted traditions that pagan converts couldn't bear to let go of.

Seeing the decorations at church this morning really threw me off. It was only the night before that I had read that the garlands and the tree were never promoted by God as a means of celebrating anything, but that they came from people that had nothing to do with God.

It scares me to say it, but I'm having serious doubts about how, what, or even if I should be celebrating this time of year. If this isn't how God wants to be honored, I don't want to do it anymore.

And now it blows my own mind to think that I've just submitted an article to suggest that Christians reconsider whether or not God wants any part of the Christmas-spirit. Though if I have to be a 'Scrooge' to stand where Jesus is... as difficult as that could be... then that's where I'll be.