A Look Back

Once again it is Christmas time and all that that implies.

This means for me long days at work and short nights mixed with lots of last minute present buying opportunities.

Maybe next year we will step back and take another look at what we do during this time of year and what it all really means.

I read an article in the Winston-Salem Journal the other day that dispelled the notion that Christmas has gotten more commercial the past several years. The crux of the article was that the Christmas celebration, or at least what we know of it culturally, has always been commercial. The celebration was originally founded in it…not in the celebration of Christs’ birth.

Be that as it may and how many rabbits we could chase with that one—that’s not what prompted me to write today, Christmas eve 2006.

While shopping the other day, I ran into an old friend that I hadn’t seen in some time. We live in the same town but through circumstances in our lives, rarely get together anymore. Not that the possibility doesn’t exist, it is just that we are really living in two different worlds. Not to say they can’t intersect at some point, just that they haven’t in the past several years.

Many years ago, we went to the same church.

When they left, we still saw each other every once in awhile but soon drifted in different directions. My wife and I would, during the peak of our friendship, see them at least once a week. We would often dine at their house, as Robert (not his real name) was a great cajun cook. We’d drink a beer or two, eat well and talk about life and the adventure we were on together. Duirng the work week, we’d often take off work early and catch a movie at the theatre.

In our most recent meeting in the local department store, I mentioned that Sandi and I had left this same church after 22 years and that they, of all people, would understand what had prompted us to do so.

He said that he had often wondered what had become of me and that he missed our friendship.

In a moment of defining clarity, I had this thought: What we had was, as I remembered it, very special and something that most people only dream about having. Also, that this friendship was still there in my memory banks and no one could damage it or re-define it in any way. That, even if we never got together again, we had had a moment in time which was very special and we could still savour that as part of our life journey.

Have they moved on…Yes! Are we…Yes! Will we ever break bread again…Maybe!

It seems like at this very moment, it is more important to look forward rather than look behind. To begin to fill our lives with the stuff of our dreams and not give in to the cynicism that nips at our heels.

God is not finsihed with us yet…we still have a life to live, whether that is a few days, a few years or a decade or two.

I want to get to the part where I experience it (life) in the moment of lving rather than in the memory of the past.

There are still a lot of flowers to smell and rides to take.

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