And we think we have it rough!

I just got back from the grocery store. All I needed was apple juice for the recipe for supper. As I was about to step in line at the cash register, a woman with a cart heaped-full pushed in front of me. I widened my eyes, gave her the “really?” expression, and sighed loudly, but she ignored me, as though I wasn’t there.

Muttering less than complementary words to myself, I got into the car. Behind me, blocking my exit, was a car, the driver chatting with someone standing beside the car. I needed to get home! Because of all the delays, the Dixie factory workers were getting off work, and the wait at the stop sign was LONG. So I sat, the single bottle of apple juice resting on the seat next to me.

People can be rude and thoughtless. And sometimes there are too many of them around. They get in my way, slow my progress, and make life miserable!

My favorite Christmas song came on the car radio: Mary Did You Know? I thought about what Mary might have been doing back in the day. There she was, a pregnant teen in an era when pregnant teens were not glamorized, and engaged to a man who could have her stoned to death. And just imagine the neighbors. All that gossip over the back fence had to be juicy, and vicious. No invitations to parties.

Mary was ostracized by some of her family. People were rude and thoughtless. And then the trip, at nine months pregnant, to Bethlehem, a good 70 miles. There she was, waddling back and forth until Joseph put her on a donkey. That had to be comfortable. Finally, she arrived in Bethlehem, tired, dirty and hungry, and the place was packed with people. There was no place to pitch their tent. Every square inch of space was filled. Wall to wall people laughing, joking, ignoring a tired, dirty, couple struggling to find a place to stay. And then labor started. Mom was not there to hold her hand. I can only imagine how scared Mary was.

And so began the most memorable night in history. All of this for people like me: rude at times, thoughtless at times, and oblivious to those around me. And as I write this, Christmas is only a week away. I haven’t made a single cookie yet, and my feast is still unplanned. I have family coming! I need to get my act together.

What I need to do is slow down, remember what the holiday is all about, and take time to praise God for the blessings. In spite of my narrow-mindedness, God still loved me enough to send His Son from Heaven to earth for ME. Yes, for me, in all of my humanness.

As you prepare for Christmas, however you spend it, however it will go for you this year, remember the reason we have this day is not so we can have a day off work and share gifts and food, but so that we can remember our Savior and His birth.

Have a blessed Christmas! Regina

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