Today's passage: Hebrews 4:12
I will admit it. I believed in Santa until I was twelve years old. Well, let's say for a couple years I started to have doubts, but since I never came out and asked the question, my parents allowed me to continue to defend Mr. Claus. I was certain that my parents did not have the money to put all those gifts under the tree, especially for five kids. By sixth grade, I was seriously getting made fun of (sorry, Mom, if you didn't realize all this). But loyal person that I am, I was insistent that he was real. Of course, this meant I had to lay down a case for Easter Bunny and my personal tooth fairy, Angelique. My tooth fairy even wrote me a letter in beautiful handwriting that was not my parents, so I knew she was real. The day came when I discovered it was Mom and Dad. My Dad came into the room to switch out a coin for a tooth, and pretending to be asleep, I spotted him. I continued to pretend to be asleep not wanting to startle him with a "Gotcha!" Confronted the next morning with my discovery, my Dad insisted that I was asleep because he checked. It's called pretending, Dad, something I have always done very well, thus my penchant for theater. Yes, I still debate this point with him even though he has been in Heaven these seven years now. I'm sure he is refusing to cede this point. Well, this was a very difficult idea to let go of. I had believed in these imaginary figures for about ten years. That is a long time to believe in something and find out it is not true. I wasn't thrilled that I looked pretty foolish among the other sixth graders who had long ago given up the notion. I know my parents weren't trying to be cruel or subject me to undue ridicule, they wanted me to be a kid for as long as possible. Keeping Santa alive, was one way for them to do that.
Before we had kids, my husband and I discussed the Santa Claus/Easter Bunny/Rudolph/Tooth Fairy conundrum. Do we let them believe, or do we tell them the truth. Now, I am not trying to persuade anyone to do what they have already decided to do. I am not going to think you are a horrible person if you do the Santa Claus thing. I believe that is a decision every family has to make on their own. But my husband and I decided that if we were to allow them to believe in these fictional characters, when they finally discovered that they were not real, how much would they think it was pretend, and how much of it would they think was Mommy and Daddy lying to them. It is possible that they would understand it is like a joke you tell, and be fine when they discovered the punchline. But we felt that there was a real distinct possibility that they might look at it as being deceitful and lose trust. If Mommy and Daddy lied about that, maybe they lied about Jesus, maybe they lied about the Bible. Again, I'm not trying to convince anyone to do anything differently, I'm just revealing our thought processes on the matter. My husband and I came to the conclusion that it was a chance we were not willing to take, not when our sons' souls might be at stake in the future. So we choose not to include Santa in our Christmas festivities.
Here is the real reason for this post, and I hope you have been able to tune in long enough to hear it. We have repeatedly explained to our boys that Santa is not real. My eight year old gets it. My four year old is less certain. After all, St. Nick is everywhere. On the radio, in the stores, in the sales papers. The other day, as I was finishing up my food prep for Thanksgiving Day, my four year old calls to me, "Mom, come here quick!" I rush into the living room and see a snippet of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on the TV. On the float is none other than the jolly old fellow himself bellowing out "Ho, ho, ho!" My four year old, eyes all innocence, looks up at me and says, "Well, Mom, I guess we were wrong." Seeing that real, live man dressed in a Santa Claus suit completely changed his mind about the legitimacy of Santa Claus. Needless to say, I had to explain the man was just pretending to be Santa Claus. I know he really wants to believe in him.
Thinking about that, we have God's Word that tells us exactly who Jesus Christ is. How is it we are more willing to believe what is on a TV set than what is in our own Bible? Why do we have people who will believe anything they hear on the radio or in the newspaper, but not from God's own Word? People believe what they want to believe.We have a Book that gives us all the truth we need. Why do we have to be more convinced that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, than we need to be of aliens or vampires? God's Word is more real than Santa Claus. It is more tangible than the Easter Bunny. It is more faithful than the Tooth Fairy. Believe in those things if you want, but make sure you believe in the real thing.
Back to II Samuel on Monday. Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend!