Several months ago, a friend of mine at church handed me a book by Mike Huckabee called “A Simple Christmas’.
It was long after the Christmas holiday, but she said she was sure I’d enjoy reading it.
It is not a novel but rather a compilation of twelve stories that do relate to Christmas but more importantly it a story of family, faith, loyalty and traditions.
I’m afraid it laid on an end table for six weeks or more til I finally picked it up and read one of the chapters. I was ‘hooked’ and could hardly wait to read more of the adventures of this family.
I was impressed because some of the stories were ones that I related to as they brought so many memories of my own parents and the values they held.
I’d like to share with you just a couple of the things in this book that really caught both my interest and seemed to me to offer both knowledge but also a bit of a challenge.
In one chapter, he spoke about the fact that when individuals die, they leave a legacy. Perhaps if it is an important individual they might leave many evidences of the impact made by that life. It is also possible that someone leaves a tremendous monetary legacy to those they loved or to projects to which they had been committed.
But he then related what the difference it was when a simple individual like his father left a legacy. Such a vastly different legacy seemed to me to be of equal value to money and prestige. He suggested that someone leaving a legacy of faith, hope and compassion that lived on in others was indeed leaving a great legacy.
Another thought that captured my interest who his idea relating to how we seem to think that ideas, projects, or businesses that are large and imposing and that seem so outstanding that they will naturally get people’s interest and also attract people to them.
It is as though it is only success that draws others to a concept or belief.
He suggests that we remember that Jesus (as he put it ) didn’t ‘hit the ground running’ but rather came as a tiny baby. And that He spent years as a young person working with his family and became a carpenter. He had knowledge, ability but also a time of preparation.
So, why I found myself wondering, do we get so stressed when things don’t work out ‘immediately’. Or when we try and it seems we always get it wrong and things don’t succeed as we hoped they would. Or when we have to give up and find we need to try and try again.
The book offers glimpses into his life as a child and the sacrifices made by parents as they try to provide necessities and sometimes the ‘extra’ things that we as children want and how sometimes it takes maturity of both mind and spirit before we begin to realize what parents often sacrifice to provide for children.
I’m grateful to Shirley for suggesting I read this particular book because it rekindled many memories of my own childhood and it also reminded me of the importance of the values that we as parents, grandparents and just responsible adults have for passing on both a deep and abiding faith and also values that will allow future generations to build lives on a firm foundation.
Was the book all serious? Of course not. There were many stories that brought smiles to my face and some that touched me deeply. These were stories of loss, illness, plans that continually changed, but there was a foundation of faith and trust that ran through all the stories.
But what I suppose was most important was the constant reminder that ‘things’ aren’t what bless our lives. It is the people who love us and give us a firm foundation of faith and love that are really the important legacy that are imparted to us.
If we have family and friends who bless our lives, then we have much for which to be grateful.