Sunday, December 30, 2007

Merriless Christmas?

I’ve been remiss in not proclaiming “Merry Christmas” to my sojourners out here on the path.

It’s not a bah-humbug omission. The thing is, every time I sat down to write a Christmas greeting, I felt inadequate. Many of my fellow authors have shared greetings and memories on various blogs, and I felt I couldn’t match them—as if this cyber-celebration was a competition and not a commemoration.

Author Patty Hickman has shared with her readers the amazing work of a ministry she’s involved with, caring for folks with HIV/AIDS ( Upon reading about what these big-hearted, faithful folks have done, I literally jumped to my feet in praise of the One who enlivens their ministry.

So many of you offer similar service in Christ’s name. These are the true gifts of Christmas, laid at the foot of the manger to bring radiance to the child, light to the darkness.
Me? I just walk my dog.
On this last weekend of 2007, it’s fitting to ask if I’m on the right path.

I tell myself someone has to drink in the hush of the woods, be staggered by the majesty of the trees, bath in silent snow, shout praises to a sparkling sky. The key—as in everything—is praise. My pittance of what is owed has quieted because the forester drowned praise with his incessant chain saw and grinding bulldozer; the weather froze praise with bone-chilling cold; the season crushed praise with obligations; the Patriots claimed praise as their own; the writing pretended to be praise’s vehicle; the fear of failure shredded praise in bloody tatters.

The truth is that I chose to walk this path of acquiescence.

The irony is that Tasha still gets it right. She’s slow to get going but once she’s on the path, she bounds with joy. And she’s taken to looking back at me, ears perked and head tilted, as if to say can’t you keep up?

And she’s right. Out on the path, it’s not about having a Merry Christmas. It’s all about letting the chainsaw and weather and seasons and Patriots and writing and failure fall to the wayside.

It’s all about having Joyous Christ. And this, my dear friends, is what I wish you all.


Kay said...

Taking in the splendor of the woods, and dwelling on the Splendor of the King is what it's all about, I think.
God doesn't need us to do His work. He blesses us with the opportunity and blesses us for our obedience, but really, He could do it without us, if He wanted. What He cannot do is worship Himself. That, He needs us for. That is the only thing we even have to offer.
That's what I think, anyway.

Merry said...

Each of us has a task. Yours is to make others quietly see the majesty that is God. I visit every day because you (and Tasha) are an inspiring part of my time with God. Praise be.

Anonymous said...

"Just walk your dog"? Oh, Kathy! Your blog shows you as a real person, someone I can relate to. You see clearly as you walk your dog, and make word-pictures that show me more about what the Lord is doing (or wants to be doing) in my life! Thank you so much!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I know...I don't have all those pretty words either! I hope you had a great Christmas, and will have a save New Years!

Kathryn Mackel said...

Dear ones, thank you for your comments. I didn't mean to invite affirmation but rather be honest. Your support and encouragement is always such a blessing!

Pam Halter said...

Jan. 1, 2008. A new year with no mistakes in it. Yet I can still say Merry Christmas because today is the 8th day of Christmas!

God does, indeed, call us to different paths. We cannot and must not compare ourselves to other people. We just need to be faithful to our calling.

Then we will stand in humility before God and hear, "Well done, good and faithful servant."

What could be better than that?