Friday, December 24, 2010

Opinion - Two unique words

Two unique words
That’s My Opinion
By Bob Robinson
Dec. 24, 2010

I went shopping yesterday.
Among my stops was Shawnee Prairie, where I picked up some unique home grown products… apple butter, made right here in Darke County Parks, and maple bear honey, made in Union City, Indiana.
Yeah, I know, UCI isn’t Darke County, but it’s close enough. Shawnee boasts that these “home brew” products all come from within a 20-mile radius of the preserve.
And Union City, Ind., fits.
They will be ‘Christmas’ for some city relatives who don’t know what they’re missing.
Then I went to the Eagles to finish up some business from the morning… didn’t “shop” there, but I got to say “Merry Christmas” to everyone enjoying the fellowship.
I stopped in to see my protégé, Tina Chalmers, Advocate editor. Had a chance to say “Merry Christmas” to those staffers still around from my “regime.” It was good seeing them again, as I hadn’t visited for a while.
Then I made several other stops… gas cards, gift cards, holiday scratchers… no, I don’t typically indulge, but I’ve been told scratchers are a Christmas tradition around here. True enough, the options were running low by the time I got there.
Maybe that’s a good omen for one of our recipients.
While shopping I ran into one of my Key Club kids… she was evidently doing some last minute shopping. She was happy and smiling, as opposed to a grouchy old man doing what he doesn’t enjoy doing… dodging people in the aisles.
I hate spending money. I especially hate spending “Christmas money.” I always resist until the last minute, then acknowledge to myself that it has to be done. And I discover that what I really hate is waiting until the last minute… and waiting again in lines as long as my arm.
I’ve done this for as long as I remember. There are some things, I guess, that I’ll never learn.
For dinner we decided on pizza. When I called it in, I was greeted by another of my Key Club kids. She was rushed – they were busy – but she was “up” and sounded like she was into the season.
All this time something was happening that didn’t dawn on me while I was out doing what I didn’t enjoy doing.
I was “hearing” Merry Christmas as I was “offering” Merry Christmas. Strangers, friends, the kids I work with, my fellow Eagles, the people I do business with… Merry Christmas.
Not once did I hear Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings.
Christmas is a special time of the year. It is a time to rejoice in God’s Blessings and the Savior that God’s Grace has given us.
It is a time to remember what God asks of His children.
What does God ask of His children? Yeah, I know, my mind is strange; what can I say? I wonder about these things. I have my ideas. I also know that human nature provides as many different ideas as there are people.
He wants us to follow the Ten Commandments. Well, yeah! I’m sure He does. But beyond that? Something keeps nudging my feeble mind that there is more to it than that.
A deeper understanding of His Word? Probably. In that case, I’m in trouble. I know little of His Word.
Maybe He just wants us to be the best we can be, knowing that without Him, that would be impossible? Somehow, I felt that was closer – at least for me – but not yet the Gold Star.
So I resorted to a 21st Century phenomenon, commonly known as the Internet. Link after link after link gave me the same thing… a quote from Matthew 22:37-40.
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38. This is the first and great commandment. 39. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
At first I felt a sense of loss… I’ve not done that great a job with either one. I admit it. I know, however, that I can ask forgiveness – receive it –  and try to do better.
In fact, I know I can do better because of where I live.
Despite its problems – after all, Darke County is inhabited by humans with human frailties – I live in an area where people tend to congregate and work on behalf of God and those less fortunate. People of faith.
I see it in the kids I work with almost every day. I see it in the number of organizations dedicated to our youth, our cultural enrichment and those less fortunate.
And I saw it today in the joyful sharing of two unique words that seem to be in short supply elsewhere…
Merry Christmas! May it be a Blessed one for you and yours.
That’s my opinion. What’s yours?

Bob Robinson is the retired editor of The Daily Advocate, Greenville, Ohio. If you wish to receive a daily notification of his comments, opinions and reports, send your email address to: Feel free to express your views.

No comments: