Twas the Day After Christmas

And just like that, another year has flown by. December 25th has come and gone and now we’re left with the mess to clean up the bills to pay, and the realization that time is flying by at an alarming rate. This time of year can be exciting for some and discouraging for others, the excitement is fading and the mundane begins to set in.

Alexander the Great conquered Persia, but broke down and wept because his troops were too exhausted to push on to India. Hugo Grotius, the father of modern international law, said at the last, “I have accomplished nothing worthwhile in my life.” John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the U.S.–not a Lincoln, perhaps, but a decent leader–wrote in his diary: “My life has been spent in vain and idle aspirations, and in ceaseless rejected prayers that something would be the result of my existence beneficial to my species.” Robert Louis Stevenson wrote words that continue to delight and enrich our lives, and yet what did he write for his epitaph? “Here lies one who meant well, who tried a little, and failed much.” Cecil Rhodes opened up Africa and established an empire, but what were his dying words? “So little done, so much to do.”

What can we learn from the continuing story of Jesus’s youth about the value of each moment? Is our life only valuable for what we accomplish in it, or is there more we should consider? How does the story of Jesus’s youth set up for us targets we should be aiming for?

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