Since moving to Irvine CA, I’ve noticed that my husband was acquiring some road rage in our daily commute. It’s a whopping 10 miles, but don’t let that fool you in Southern California. In our first days in our new town, we were able to make light of the driving conditions by saying, “and that’s why insurance costs are so high here,” whenever a driver did something unsafe. Truthfully, I’m just as bad as my husband. I take my frustrations to the next level and actually honk at people. Beep! Beep! But after a few months of his road commentary, I decided to casually acknowledge this growing (and somewhat negative) habit in my best friend, knowing that he may or may not receive it.
At first, he played it off (not really receiving or rejecting my concern). But before I knew it, he was uttering another complaint about the next driver that cut him off, AND THEN SUDDENLY … he broke into song! There was hardly a pause. It was the most bizarre moment. From the driver seat I hear, “Seriously dude, Joy to the world …“! My husband instantaneously started singing along with the radio, and I … I couldn’t help but laugh. Once he realized his drastic mood swing from road rage to glorifying the Lord, he too was laughing.
I think we all find ourselves in situations like these at one point or another. We’re late to church on Sunday but turn on smiles once seated. We give generously as the basket comes our way during service but groan at traffic on the way out of the parking lot. Unfortunately, the same goes towards how we greet our neighbors. Especially those of another faith who aren’t celebrating the season. We’re prepared to spread the holiday spirit with a Christan brother or sister but don’t always have our “Christmas cheer” turned on for a Muslim crossing our path at the store.
Why is that? A transformed heart shouldn’t have an off-switch. I suppose the easiest answer is this … we’re human! We’re all sinners and we forget. After listening to all of our ministry speakers’ Christmas programs, the most common message is that we become so busy during the Christmas season that we often miss Christmas altogether. Don’t let that be you this Christmas. Over the next several weeks, let’s sing joy to the world and prepare Him room. Room to move in every encounter with every driver, shopper, and neighbor of a different faith. Let us be intentional about sharing the true reason of this season with those who don’t know it.