Sanity versus a lump of coal. My best shot at a spiritual message…
December 23, 2011
Linus: The True Meaning of Christmas
I don’t pretend to be an expert on Christianity. For the first 30 years of my life I pretty much went with the moving speech Linus gives at the end of A Charlie Brown Christmas. Frankly, I still consider that to be a solid text.
I don’t believe Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. But I respect that millions do and I am in awe of the idea of Him. I think if everyone, myself included, adhered to the teachings of Christ we’d all be a heck of a lot better off. Acceptance. Forgiveness. Tolerance. It’s good stuff and a far better gift for our children than whatever Santa brings.
Unlike lapsed Catholics I have no resentment toward Catholicism or any other religion. If anything, I just wish they weren’t so boring. The sermons, the rituals, the text and especially the music are so dull no wonder young people reject it. Goodness lacks sizzle. I don’t know; maybe it’s supposed to. Yet, I can’t help but wonder what the world would be like if religions were less, well, preachy. Maybe nuns wouldn’t have to rely on yardsticks to get the message across. In my novel, The Happy Soul Industry God hires an ad agency to create better messaging for goodness. Alas, even in my own story it doesn’t work out as planned. In the end, faith is blind. Hard to possess but all the more valuable if you do.
I’ve come to believe that there is a higher power, some entity that holds all the cards. More importantly, I know it’s not me. That’s the ultimate lesson: relief from the bondage of self. And I suck at it. Yet, whenever I insist on running the show the ride gets bumpy. Much as I believe in free will, I’ve seen how damaging self-will can be (to others and to me). It’s a lump of coal. Believing in a power greater than myself restores me to sanity.
Here’s hoping then for a little sanity this Christmas. God bless you and yours.