Friday, December 24, 2010

Everything Matters, Except that Nothing Really Does

My mother continually tried to drill that into my head over recent months, wherein I was dealing with more than a little depression over the fact that I'm pushing thirty and still haven't decided what I want to do with the life God gave me. As the sentence is an obvious paradox (how can everything matter if nothing does?) it took more than just mental prowess to puzzle it out. Of course, that didn't stop me from trying to analyze the statement from every intellectual angle I could before causing my brain to overheat and myself to give up in anger over not being able to solve the riddle.

Enter two friends of mine who attend the United Methodist Church here in Roseville, California. They invited my fiance and me to their Christmas Eve service, which we've just returned from, and I'm still aglow with the injection of faith I received by being around others who believed as I did, that Jesus Christ was born to save the world from its own sins, and that those who accepted Christ into their hearts would join him and his Father in Paradise.

Obviously, this proved to be just the prescription I needed to shed a good deal of the poison I'd been ingesting in the form of "all politics all the time." unfortunately this meat also hearing about the constant attacks on people of faith by those who don't believe, and even some who do. Needless to say, a steady stream of negative stories concerning your core beliefs can wear away at your resolve.

And yet, like the cavalry arriving at the last reel of an old "cowboys and Indians" flick, I was rescued not by soldiers on horses, but by songs of praise for the Son of God. Hearing "Angels we have Heard on High", "Oh Come all Ye Faithful", and other spiritual tunes filled me with the holiday cheer that, despite my efforts to spread it here in various other posts, I wasn't feeling very much of. Fortunately, that's changed, just in time for Jesus's birthday. As far as I'm concerned, that's the best Christmas gift of all: learning and relearning the real reason we celebrate this day and being able to fully appreciate it as a result.

That said, I will once again be delving into the poisonous realm of politics once the holiday season is over, as the bad doesn't go away just because you've been exposed to the good. However, I think I'll be able to go through it now with a more open perspective. I've always been a big picture guy, but I think for a while now I've been missing the REAL big picture: This life only matters for as long as it lasts. Eternity is forever.