Christmas involves a lot of decisions: which friends and relatives to visit or to invite, which family favorites to put on the menu, and which loved ones to put on the naughty list and which ones go on the other list. Today, on the first day of the New Year, most of the visitors have gone home, most of the leftovers have been eaten or thrown out, and most of the gifts have been put away. Still, there are decisions to be made.
The good news for procrastinators like me is that some of those decisions can be postponed for a while. However, every time I sit down in my chair and see the jeans and knit top David gave me for Christmas, I’m reminded of one choice that I have to make pretty soon. The clothes in question are folded and laying on my ottoman awaiting their fate – will they be returned for a larger size, or will I lose the few pounds that are making them a little tight?
It’s not really a difficult decision. Several months ago when David and I started the Wheat Belly Diet, I lost a few pounds. An older pair of jeans that had been fitting about the same way the new ones fit now, slid right on. Unfortunately, I’ve found enough things to substitute for the wheat products I eliminated from our diet that the missing pounds have returned. Having shed the pounds once, though, I know I can do it again. The decision is, do I have the self control, or do I give in to a larger size.
Granted, this is not a monumental decision with long-lasting consequences – except as the extra pounds affect my health. Still, there are more significant post-Christmas decisions that each of us have to make. As we see in the Gospels, no one comes away from an encounter with the Christ child unchanged. The shepherds left the stable filled with awe that bubbled out as praise to God. The Magi changed their direction after encountering Jesus and went home a different way than they came. Herod made his decision to try and destroy what he perceived as a threat without investigating it for himself.
Later in His life, Jesus held what evangelicals might consider the first altar call during which He challenged His followers to make a decision. After a discussion about who others thought He was, Jesus made it personal. “Who do you say that I am?” Some post-Christmas decisions are as simple as returning or keeping a gift, but after celebrating the birth that has affected the world for over 2,000 years, each of us will decide who He is to us.
May the blessings of Christmas continue to be yours throughout the New Year.
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