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The Perfect Holiday Gift is Not on Amazon.com
The holiday season is about many common themes shared by all religions of faith around the world. Many emphasize love, giving, hope, and a renewed relationship with all that is divine and holy, reflecting of the state of humanity. I am a Man of Faith, and I follow the Christian tradition and I could not begin to imagine what the holidays would be like without the undertones of religious faith. I have found in my studies that almost all world faiths have common stories about the creation and their path to enlightenment or transformation. In all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it seems as if the true meaning of Christmas is lost in the fray.
I often wonder what it must have felt like for Mary, a young mother and Joseph her betrothed to undertake a journey to Bethlehem in obedience with the Roman Census decree only to find that there is no available lodging. How infuriating that must have been! Mary is pregnant with what truly is a promise, a possibility, a vision but it is a living breathing thing that is unfulfilled potential and passion because it has not been birthed.
How many of us have stepped out on faith on what we thought was our purpose to encounter a stumbling block?
The Hebrew Bible does not tell us much about the trip to Bethlehem, but we know that Mary and Joseph found no lodging available when they arrived. Most of us like to know what awaits us at the conclusion of a journey. However when it comes to giving birth to what is inside of us, when it come to attempting to carry out our purpose given to us by the divine, when it comes to stepping out and working on our vision, there are so many unknowns. The process between a promise and a possibility is often fraught with problems.
Have you ever gotten so close to seeing a dream realized or a goal fulfilled, only to find yourself still short of your dream, your vision? Did you give up? Often what seems like a denial in our life is just the universe transitioning us behind the scenes, away from the limelight so that we can safely give birth to our destiny. According to the Christian tradition, the stable represents where humanity and divinity met. It was where the divine had chosen to dwell among men. I wonder how many people walked by that stable, not knowing what was truly inside. I wonder how many people would have been repulsed to have to give birth in what was considered a lowly place. How many people have walked by you, dismissed you, counted you out because you did not have all of the tools they deemed necessary? And how many did not see you or your worth, failing to realize that there is a wealth of treasure in the most unlikely places!
Our religious world faiths and texts often reveal what is overlooked, the personal treasure, the gifts, the talents, and the ideas so many people have inside. You can rest assured that people will be sent your way to assure you and reaffirm to you that which the divine has placed inside of you.
This Holiday Season I challenge you to take your focus off the outside world and look within. Find the hidden treasure within you, unlock it, cultivate it, protect it, and whatever you do, do not give up on it. You are going to need the help of the divine to give birth to it, but you first have to discover it. The journey may be difficult and you may find yourself weary at times, but I promise you the journey will be worthwhile.
Ryan Girley is a student a Shaw University in North Carolina. He is a devoted Christian who enjoys volunteering. Mr. Girley is an avid writer and a Contributor to healthyblackmen.org.Check out his blog right here.