18 Dec

CHRISTMAS CAROLDec. 21, 2011 @ 10:00 PM

The brilliance and imagery of the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol,” offers a timeless reflection of the magical consequences of human kindness.

Of his tale, Dickens wrote, “I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.”

And “haunt” us it has for over 150 years with its sustained relevance for mankind and its sobering look at the sanctity and purpose of life.

Ebenezer Scrooge was a man lost within his own maize of anxiety, stripped of his compassion for others whose significance diminished as his wealth grew.

Yet, Scrooge, although unworthy of his journey of recompense, was given an opportunity to witness the chains he forged in life from the third person as he was led on a journey by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

I can only surmise Dickens chose Christmas as the setting of his tale of repentance because of the depth of purpose he envisioned it had for his fellow man and the opportunity it offered for reflecting upon one’s life choices.

I do, however, submit Dickens is prompting us to invoke similar introspection.

How would your journey fare with the three apparitions?

How sound are the choices in your past?

Life choices in today’s world are exceedingly complex and follow a path dimly lit and laden with distractions proprietary to our times.

A popular phrase the past few years has been, “What would Jesus do”?

Psalms 25:4 says, “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.”

More than ever before, we need a spiritual compass to help with our decision-making.

What about the present day?

As you woke this morning and prepared for interaction with others, what was your expectation? What, do you suppose, was theirs?

James 1:19 tells us, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…”

A simple recommendation which would undoubtedly help each day become more productive for many of us!

What about your future? Surely thoughts of our future should consume us! After all, we’re taught from a young age to prepare for this period of life!

But isn’t that exactly what Ebenezer did?

Today is yesterday’s future!

God doesn’t want us consumed with hoarding riches in this life.

Matthew 6:19 advises, “Do not store up yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”

God wants us to love each other and build our eternal riches in heaven!

Ebenezer Scrooge had some ghostly mentors to influence change in his life and Dickens ensured his writings paved the way by allowing time for Scrooge to alter his future.

Unfortunately, none of us have Dickens’ script guaranteeing our life tomorrow.

Perhaps we should use Christmas, as Dickens did, to reflect upon chains we may have forged.

Mark Caserta is a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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