By Ron Baker

Our environment soaks into us. And changes us.

These last months, I feel like people are changing around me. Their story soon becomes the only thing I hear, and that narrative soon begins to affect me.

When a child is born into a family, we worry about their survival. Instead we should be celebrating their arrival.

When a new “thing” has been achieved in our lives, we worry that COVID will snatch our lives away. Instead we should be thankful for that “thing” that is enhancing our lives.

When our travel is by electronic/digital means, we worry that COVID regulations will eliminate any travel in the future. Instead we should be thankful for the moment we have.

Turning our current environment upside down is a tough row to hoe.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of gardening, you begin with a seed – a plant you wish to nurture and grow for the beauty and fruit provided. But the environment contains enough evil residue that you have to constantly overturn the soil, extract the weeds and water the plants.

Some rows are harder to hoe than others. How do you uproot a persistent weed?

Dig deep into the root – expect a few callouses and you may need to enlist the help of a few friends. Don’t dismiss the weed by saying it doesn’t exist. Don’t give up by thinking you can’t dislodge the weed. Keep cautiously digging – until you are no longer afraid.

When you realize death cannot kill you, the COVID weed is uprooted. Without being obnoxious, let me say that the world’s creator planned a longer existence for you than just your lifetime. The example of that extended existence is highlighted in the life of Jesus of Nazareth. Dig into that Christmas history and see where it takes you.

Without stopping that exploration, let me just throw out a few more thoughts.

Directing our efforts towards that which is true, lovely and pure tends to reshape our lives. When what you worry about is dragging you down, grab those worries and throw them at God. His glove is big enough to catch a pandemic and everything that comes with that scourge! Because God loves us, love throws fear out the door.

Oh, and don’t forget to be thankful and generous towards others.

Tis’ the season!

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