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The Dean's Digest - December 2013

12/18/13 -  

By the time you read this column, Christmas Day will be less than a week away. My, how quickly this Christmas season has come upon us!

Our pastor in church this week related some humorous stories about the many challenges he has experienced over the years related to Christmas pageants and nativity scenes involving children. No matter how much practice and preparation went into the pageants and scenes, inevitably something would go wrong.

For instance, he related the time when he received a call from the mother of a young boy who was to play one of the wise men. Chicken pox, she said; he can’t participate. "Now what to do?" our minister thought.

The point of the story was that life is imperfect, and we have to learn to handle unexpected bumps in the road without coming unglued.

It is often said that God will not give us burdens that we cannot handle. Still, we tend to get anxious and frustrated when things don’t go as planned. Have you felt stressed lately? Do you wonder how you are going to get it all done – the shopping, the wrapping, the baking, the parties on the social calendar, the cards to be sent, the many friends and family members to visit?

Pastor Ken said it best when he encouraged us not to let special moments slip by us. It doesn’t take but a couple of seconds to tell your loved one that you love her/him. A couple more seconds to hug a friend and tell them you are thinking about them. And, a couple more seconds to stop and tell your children how proud you are of them, or ask your father or mother how they are doing.

Sure, we are all busy, but we can touch others without giving tangible gifts. Just talk or listen or smile, and don’t worry if plans don’t work out. (Talk – no texting.)

In the case of the little boy with chicken pox, the play had to go on … so the other wise men surprised everyone by entering the scene singing “We two kings of Orient are….” And no one got upset.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Ron Shiffler


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