Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys,
showing that nothing else in life need be taken seriously,
and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one
of the few occasions in which men become entirely alive.
Life grew very hard for me in my late 30‘s, and the difficulties spilled over well into my forties. As a result I was becoming more and more cynical about “life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.” Those circumstances were made worse by the 20 year derailment in my faith journey and both were aiding and abetting a steady, downward spiral into the “black abyss” of hopelessness. So my doctor recommended that I go see a counselor, and I did, but reluctantly at first. Though it wasn’t long before I warmed to her, it took a while longer before I started really opening up about the burdensome issues that had brought me to her door. Then one afternoon as the session was about to end, she said, “I want you to imagine that you are a 4 year old child.” I replied, “Okay,” and then she asked, “If you were that 4 year old, what would want to do right this very minute?” Without too much consideration, I blurted out, “go get a chocolate ice-cream cone.” After hearing my response she immediately stood up, smiled, and said, “All right. I shall see you next week and TODAY on the way home I want you to stop and have a chocolate ice cream cone.” When I started to ask why, she quickly replied, “Just do it. I’ll explain next time.” So I stopped and got the chocolate ice cream cone, and I do have to say that it might possibly have been the very best ice cream cone I’ve ever had. The point was and is that the child in all of us doesn’t die. It’s simply that the accumulating years of growing and changing cover over him or her as happens with a path no longer traveled. And so it was that miraculously after clearing the way with one weekly ice cream cone after the other, the healing of my brokenness got under way, the getting back on track with my faith journey got under way, and the nourishing of my starving inner child, who was essential in restoring joy, hopefulness, and a sense of wonder, also got under way. Praise the Lord!
Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home! ~Charles Dickens
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.” ~Luke 2:10 ✝
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