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Sherry Hopkins column

Christmas future: What would it take for change?

Scrooge was widely known in his day as a — well — as a Scrooge. He was able in a dreamlike state to see his past, present and future from a different perspective. He apparently “saw the light” because, as you all know, in the movie Christmas Carol he changed his evil ways.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all see that proverbial light, now while we aren’t too blind to see it? What would it take for you to change? Have you ever thought about it?

What if one dark cold night you heard a noise in your house and while nervously looking for the source of that noise came upon Jesus sitting in your favorite chair?

What if He asked you to sit down before Him because He wanted to just talk to you a bit?

What kind of conversation would that be?

Let’s take a hypothetical swipe at it and see, shall we? I’ll be the guinea pig for argument’s sake:

Jesus: So, Sherry, how are you? Everything going your way?

Me: Well, to be perfectly honest, Lord, not exactly.

Jesus: Well, what seems to be the problem?

Me: I have a party to go to and I’m not sure I’ve got the right thing to wear. And there’s that doggoned new satellite service we are paying an arm and a leg for. It’s not working like I had hoped. I don’t have enough time, I don’t have enough money and so on and so forth.

Jesus: Anything else on your mind?

Me: Well, since you asked, our anniversary of when we became a couple is coming up this weekend, our 27th, but you already knew that. Well, Dear Don has to work, and I’m really disappointed. I was hoping we could go away for the weekend.

Jesus: Well, it seems you do have a few things on your mind. Let me see if I understand your concerns: you are worried mostly about you. You mentioned the word “I” at least eight times.

Me: Well, that must seem awfully selfish to you, but I didn’t mean it that way. I worry about other things, too.

Jesus: Like what for instance?

Me: Okay, just lately I was asked to contribute to a worthy charity, but they caught me without any change. I told them I would get some extra cash and contribute when I left the store.

Jesus: Did you?

Me: Uh, no, I guess I forgot.

Jesus: What else have you thought about?

Me: I thought about three children from our community and wondered if they were going to have a good Christmas. Their grandmother has died and their mother is in jail and Lord only…well, who knows where their father is.

Jesus: What else?

Me: I’m trying to think. I know that I’ve thought about a lot of other things. You know it is the season to do that.

Jesus: Where did you get that idea?

Me: About the season you mean? Well, it is Christmas.

Jesus: So you only think about being charitable during the Christmas season?

Me: Of course not, I have an anti-abortion tag on my car.

Jesus: That is very sacrificial of you.

Me: It cost $30.

Jesus: And…..

Me: I’m beginning to see your point.

Jesus: Good, let’s take a look at the future and tell me what you want to see.

Me: I would like to see a world where children are grown before they ever experience pain or fear or heartache. I would like to have the same attitude about the guy standing on the street corner in old clothes as I do about the most valuable player on our championship football team. I would like to give and give and give without ever thinking about the cost. I would like to see every person within the reach of my voice bow down in thanksgiving for all that they have in their own lives. That includes me at the top of the list.

Now, Lord, you’ve got me thinking. What if each of us just gave a little more than we thought we could or should? What if we smiled at one more person today? What if we forgave our transgressors, and they forgave us?

What if we had one less complaint today than yesterday? What if we had love in our hearts for all mankind or just a neighbor? What would happen, Lord? What would happen?

Jesus: Well this world would soon be a mighty different place.

Me: What can I do to make this happen?

Jesus: You can start with yourself and then pass it on. It really is that simple.

Me: Oh, Lord, I’m so embarrassed that you had to point out so many obvious things to me.

I know your word and I have failed miserably in following it. Can I make it up somehow?

Jesus: Pray for forgiveness, child, and you can start anew today.

Me: I will try in earnest to make my future different, Lord.

Jesus: I’m counting on you.

What would it take to see the world the way God intends for us to see it?  My intentions are always so good, but then you know about paving that road with intentions. What are your intentions this holiday season? Or any season for that matter.

What would your conversation with Jesus sound like if He were to visit you?

Do we change because it is the desire of our hearts or because some tragedy or event has befallen us and we are forced into changing?

It only takes one thought and one effort to change. We can start a new journey today. You get the picture.

(Contact Sherry at sherryhopkins@bellsouth.net)