Tangled Christmas Lights

December 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Christmas lights.

When properly displayed on a house or a tree or a garden, it depicts something beautiful… something to be observed… something to be admired. But most of us don’t have the time or patience to work through the process to get those lights to their awe-inspiring state. One individual who has entertained millions of us during this time of year is Clark Griswold, who is famously known for his attempt at the perfect family Christmas in the movie Christmas Vacation.

In one of the shorter scenes in the movie, Clark is just outside the garage with his young son, Russ. With a stack of boxes all around them, the overly optimistic father begins to lecture his son about hard work, dedication, and stick-to-it-iveness that will pay off big in the end. He then pulls out a tangled strand of lights about the size of a giant beach ball and leaves it to his son to figure out.

This got me thinking about life.

Sometimes in life we can create such a mess in our relationships, finances, career, etc. that we don’t know how to untangle what we have created. Untangling one end of the strand only seems to create another three tangles elsewhere. This can lead to frustration and anger, which can quickly lead to surrender. Often times, this surrender isn’t to the Savior whose birth we celebrate this Christmas season – instead, we surrender to the tangled mess and say, “What’s the use? It’s not worth trying.”

We also try to figure out our most complicated tangles on our own. The Bible gives us a different remedy. Study the book of Proverbs and see what the Bible says about having good counsel around you. In your attempt to untangle your mess (whether you created it or not), here are a couple of practical tips to turn that tangle into a display that others can admire:

  1. Go to friends who will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.
  2. Go to friends you know you can trust; avoid leaky faucets. A slow leak can cause a flood of rumors that entangles you further.
  3. Go to friends/pastors/mentors/family who love Jesus and display a vibrant relationship with Christ.

In the end, it is apparent that there are few who are willing to take, as Robert Frost simply put, “the road less traveled.” This is what raising the risk is all about – taking what seems to be the more difficult path and untangling that mess for the glory of God and finding that it leads to a more simple way of living.

It truly is a life or death decision.

Raise the Risk Challenge:

  1. Read these verses from the book of Proverbs (1:3, 4:1, 8:14, 8:33, 12:15, 15:32, 19:20). What do these verses mean? How can you apply them?
  2. What mess do you need to untangle in 2012? Who can you confide in? Email me at rcooney@calvarybaptist.org if you don’t know where to start.

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