Saturday, December 17, 2011
The 3 G's
As Christmas approaches, I am reminded that not everyone thinks of Christmas is a time for celebrating. There are many reasons including painful memories, painful life at the moment, hatred of God and anything to do with Christ, lack of money to buy presents or food. One that surprised me a few years ago was fear of family. Yes, a fear of getting together with the family and knowing that the 3 G’s would be there. Who? Well perhaps we should call them the 3 Unwise Men or 3 Fools. They are Grudges, Gripes and Grievances. They are the spoilers. Is anybody familiar with them? Can you relate?
As dysfunctional as my family was and even with all the drinking that went on, one thing we did not do on Christmas was bring the 3 G’s to the table. We had our traditions, which varied some if we went to Grandma’s house, but even there the traditions were imbedded as Grandma wanted them… Stay up ‘til midnight Christmas Eve to open gifts and then try to remember what you got in the morning! The 25th was her birthday…
Anyway, at home we always woke to Dad cooking Blina (a German yeast-risen crepe) that we could fill as we pleased and enjoy with bacon and eggs on the side. NOMS! Oh, excuse me, that’s cat for YUM! Then we opened presents, and played a game of Hooklau… have no idea how to spell it… but it means 31 in Hawaiian. It was fun because it did not require full attention or skill, and people could come and go as they pleased. That was good because there was a lot of cooking going on across the counter in the kitchen.
Just a few years ago in a small group of women gathered for discussion, 3 out of 5 declared themselves to have fear of family. For them, the family gathering meant they had to face, once again, the criticisms of those who openly disapproved of them in some, or many ways: The people who bore the 3 G’s and brought them along to the party. I was a little shocked, but had enough sense to understand what they were talking about and care that the season was so painful for them.
So what can we do if that describes our family gatherings? All I can think of is to “put on the whole armor of God,” in order to thicken our skin, choose to not react in the same old way when these things come up, and keep our eyes on Jesus, the Reason for the Season. And we might also look for that beam in our own eye, which proves that we are just as vulnerable to the 3 Fools, ourselves
Is there someone you have in mind that is surely going to ruin the day for you? Is now a good time to forgive them and ask God to give you Love for them in place of resentment? Is now a good time to give them to God and enjoy the Celebration regardless of what they might say? Is now a good time to Praise God that you have family and friends and Him, above all else?
May God be with you during this season of Love and keep your heart close to His!