GENDUSA COLUMN: What is lost can be found

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, December 28, 2022

I feel lost every year after Santa flies back to the North Pole. So much planning, preparing, and praying goes into Christmas, that it seems a shame for it to fly by faster than Rudolph in a new jet power sleigh. The visiting family has left the building, leaving only dust bunnies, crumbs, and a mound of leftovers. With certainty, I know I will still find an errant sock, cookie, or doll shoe under something in June. 

By this time next year, I am sure I could write the same paragraph if I am so blessed.  I know to never assume that Christmas will be the same in 12 months because even breathing is not guaranteed from one day to the next.  Life is full of those “what if’s,” and as we all teeter on the edge of distressing about them, we must be thankful for each day, even if it is full of dust bunnies. 

Possibly, that is the secret to a successful 2023. If we find gratefulness throughout our days, our complaining may cease, and our happiness will grow. No soul living today is probably thankful enough for the gifts they have, including me.

We have traveled together on an arduous journey on a treacherous road these last few years. Diseases have shortened our life span and created enormous heartache. Do we understand we are blessed to have science, medical teams, and care facilities to aid us? Are we thankful enough for the help and healing?

Our political discord has often ripped and attempted to shred decency and honor. There are some things one cannot make right, no matter how much one ignores or tries to divert the spotlight.  My old saying is, “if we can’t see the Lord in the middle of it, then it is wrong.” That applies to anything, politics and politicians included.

If politics and diseases have not headlined the news, then violence and hatred have made the bold print. What has given rise to such hopelessness and lack of sanctity for life? Perhaps self-righteousness instead of righteousness has warped those impressionable young folks to turn to hate rather than hope. Pointing fingers instead of lending a helping hand never does anything to solve problems, does it?

Could we possibly put God back in the middle of everything this year? That is where we might locate peace and keep our freedom sacred.  If we can wrap our heads around the idea that we need God to get through life’s perilous travels, we might find a smoother road.

“I am just one person; what can I do?” If I have heard it once, I have heard that sentence a thousand times. It just takes one person to start a movement toward change. Look at Rosa Parks, Billy Graham, or hundreds of just ‘one person’ who have motivated folks toward solutions and understanding. 

It disturbs me when I listen to folks complain about the government. I ask, “Did you call or write your congressman to air your feelings or give ideas?” More often than not, their response is, “No, but I will,” or “It won’t do any good!” If you are a citizen of the United States, then it is your responsibility to contact your government.  What good does using our voices to complain to our peers rather than those who represent us in government? Nothing.

Who knows what 2023 will deliver. Will it bring more disease, economic woes, hatred, and hopelessness? Maybe. But what could make a difference is how we respond to struggles, trouble, and adversity. Selfishness does not work, nor does self-righteousness or blame.

If we can put God in the middle of our messes, we will feel compassion rather than contempt. Putting God in the center of our decisions will inspire responsible solutions. Teaching the goodness of the living Lord could reduce the killings and quiet the evil that permeates impressionable minds. But the trick is believing in God’s power working through us to make a difference. 

We may need to look at life not through rose-colored glasses but through the eyes of the Lord and be thankful we can see. 

Then 2023 could be rosier. What if tomorrow or next Christmas was even better? After all, because of Christmas, things that are lost can be found. 

 Isn’t it all up to us to search?