This Christmas season I noticed a common theme among some of the classic Christmas stories like A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life and How The Grinch Stole Christmas. They all have a common plot device (spoiler alert for stories 169, 66, and 55 years old): the protagonist’s life is forever turned around once they have their big emotional experience and finally understand what Christmas is all about. The turn around is total, instant, and there are no doubters.
I think one of the reasons we love those stories is because we wish things worked that way. That one day, we would finally hear the right sermon, read the right book, or pray the right prayer, and that would finally put us over the brink and there would be no looking back. But, that is not the way life works, not the way walking with Jesus works.
We want the bright light from above that is going to illuminate the whole thing, our entire life, but we don’t get that. Psalm 119:105 says: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Imagine walking along a totally dark road, with a flashlight that only lit the ground right in front of you. You would have to take things one step at a time.
Walking with Jesus is about taking things slowly and one thing at a time. That is why Jesus commands “do not worry about tomorrow”. It is easy to yearn for that Scrooge/Grinch moment where everything falls into place and we become a completely different person, but that is a trap. God is not frustrated with you being a work in progress and you shouldn’t be either.
-Matt from The Bridge