Monday, December 6, 2010

Just Look Around

Last week, I was fretting about getting my Christmas decorations up. I host PEO tomorrow, and I didn't think the PEO ladies would want to see my Thanksgiving decorations on December 7.

I've been in the midst of three newsletter deadlines and all my normal "stuff." Then Brent graduates from K-State next Saturday, and, of course, that's a great reason for a party, complete with lots of food from the County Line kitchen.

I'm ashamed to admit my Christmas spirit was more "Bah Humbug" than "Joy to the World," even after a great start to Advent.

And then I got an email last week. It was from one of my favorite Christian singers, Matthew West.

Yes, I know it wasn't typed out especially to me. But, then again ... maybe it was, in a way.

Because it radically changed how I was looking at my week and my voluminous to-do list.

It's easy to get preoccupied with the little bumps and road blocks that come our way. The one line I remember from my high school play was "Oh woe is me! Oh lack-a-day!"

Why do I remember that stupid line when I don't even remember the name of the play? Maybe it's because, too often, I get tripped up with that "Oh woe is me!" feeling, despite my best efforts to be a positive light of Christ in this world.

And then I look around. And I meet a boy named Dax through a Matthew West song. And I think about how blessed I am ... each and every day. Even when I'm tired. Even when I'm discouraged. Even when I'm struggling.

And a little boy named Dax and his family and his community and even the world help me remember what Christmas is truly about.

Matthew West writes:
Like all the songs on The Story of Your Life, this song has a story. But the way the story came to me was unique. I received three different stories from three different people all in this small town in Illinois whose lives have been impacted by the life of a 2-year-old boy named Dax. At just 13 months old, little Dax was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. He was given two bone marrow transplants as a part of emergency treatment; one from each of his parents. The doctors then told his parents that Dax would most likely not make it to see Christmas.

Well, this song is inspired by the true story of the love of a family, and the coming together of an entire community to make sure that this little boy could have one last Christmas. His dad, determined that his son would see Christmas, put up the decorations early. The neighborhood caught on, and did the same. The whole town soon followed suit. A website was built telling his story. Soon, pictures were sent from all over the world of Christmas decorations that had been put up in his honor. Incredible!

Dax did lose his battle with leukemia, but not before he got to see one last Christmas. Today, this little boy’s legacy lives on, and his parents are making sure it does. They were so touched by the care they received from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, that they now have a desire to raise enough money to run the entire hospital for one day in honor of their son, Dax. The total cost to run St. Jude’s for one day is $1.6 million dollars. Already, they have raised a quarter of a million dollars.
So, just look around, Kim. Yes, the Christmas spirit is alive and well. You just need to open your eyes ... and your ears ... and your heart.

(By the way, I truly do love it when the house is dressed up for Christmas. I'm not a Scrooge ... really! I love the lights on the tree and the sparkle of favorite ornaments. It's looking quite festive around here. More on that later ...)

But, for now, I hope you'll take time to listen to "One Last Christmas." I pray that the song and story touch your heart, too, and that you'll find the true Spirit of Christmas found in a little boy named Dax and a baby named Jesus - no matter the length of your to-do list or the busyness of life.

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