I ate a $46.00 New York Strip steak last night, well I ate half of it and brought the other half home. My wife and I were invited to a small company holiday party at a well-known restaurant. The ambiance, as you would expect, is over the top as are the food prices. I mean, $46.00 dollars for a piece of meat, I could have bought eight or ten meals at McDonald’s for that. I would guess I ate and drank $100.00 worth of stuff last night and I got to be honest I don’t feel very good about it.
We are rolling head first into the season of excess. Mom’s and Dad’s across America are trying to create the “perfect” Christmas for little Lucy and Johnny. The perfect tree, the perfect gifts, the perfect moments, moments they hope their kids will treasure for the rest of their lives. Parents will struggle, stress and spend in a desperate attempt to avoid disappointing their children but guess what, in the end it won’t be enough, it never is.
My kids are grown and gone. They will be home for Christmas but they are not coming home for gifts or presents they are coming home to laugh at the stupid shit their Dad will say, cook with their Mom, visit Grandparents and friends, and remember and retell funny stories from the past. Sure we will wrap-up a few things for them to open but the focus of Christmas has moved from individual satisfaction to the mutual love and appreciation we have for each other.
I know all you good and righteous Christians will tell the world that “Jesus is the reason for the season” but explain to me how you honor your Savior by elbowing your neighbor in the ribs at the black Friday sale at Target so that you can get the last Anki Cozmo Robot or Flybrix or LEGO Dimensions Powerpuff Girls Team Pack. What would Jesus think about you spending $180.00 on toy to honor His birth? A toy that will be yesterdays news or broken in a month.
I woke-up this morning feeling very guilty about the opulent meal I had last night. I thought about Troy who sits on the wall of the church I have been attending waiting for the doors to open so he can get a cup of coffee and a muffin, probably the only meal he will have today unless he makes the long walk to the soup kitchen. If Troy was given the choice of eating a New York Strip steak in a fancy restaurant for one night or taking the $48.00 which one do you think he would pick?
As I stood on the roof top terrace last night drinking my $10.00 stout I looked out on the beautiful city that I live in. I could see all the Christmas lights in the trees down Main Street, and the colorful lights on the office buildings and hotels. It was cold but I was warm standing next to fire pit. What I was looking at could have been on the cover of Southern Living. But somewhere down there among all the lights and festivities was Troy trying to stay warm for one more night listening to his stomach growl as I cut my $48.00 steak.
Want to discover the “reason for the season”? Find Troy, feed him, help him stay warm, help him find a home and a job. Don’t preach to him. Don’t tell him that if he turns his life over to Jesus Christ all of his troubles will be solved. If you truly are a disciple of Christ it should be enough for you to help Troy rather than trying to add another name to your spreadsheet of souls saved. What you will discover if your eyes and your heart are open is that his life might be a mess but his soul is fine, though yours could use a little work.