Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas '09 and the End of a Decade

I can't believe Christmas is next week. Things seem too normal for it to be that time of year, but it is here. It's also a time of year when I begin to feel guilty for not being as selfless as I should or for not accomplishing all of my goals I set out at the beginning of the new year. With the end of a decade soon approaching I could reminisce over the past 10 years of my life, an interesting time for sure. I could also set goals for the future new year and decade. All of which is fine, but I am often reminded of a lesson which President Monson taught:
'learn from the past, prepare for the future, live in the present'.
Today is the day to change.

What does the Spirit of Christmas mean to me? Simply, it is the Spirit of Christ. Though it is an all encompassing question which I cannot explain to its full capacity. But a few aspects of personal significance I could share, with recent quotes by general authorities reminding me of what is of true importance.
"Often our efforts at Christmas-time result in feeling stressed out, wrung out, and worn out during a time when instead we should feel the simple joys of commemorating the birth of the Babe in Bethlehem. Usually, however, the special spirit of the season somehow finds its way into our hearts and into our lives despite the difficulties and distractions which may occupy our time and energy."
"Finding the real joy of the season comes not in the hurrying and the scurrying to get more done or in the purchasing of obligatory gifts. Real joy comes as we show the love and compassion inspired by the Savior of the World, who said, 'Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these ... ye have done it unto me'."
"As we contemplate how we’re going to spend our money to buy gifts this holiday season, let us plan also for how we will spend our time in order to help bring the true spirit of Christmas into the lives of others."
Thomas S. Monson, Christmas Devotional 2009
"I promise that if we unclutter our lives a little bit and in sincerity and humility seek the pure and gentle Christ with our hearts, we will see Him, we will find Him—on Christmas and throughout the year."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Christmas Devotional 2009
The young single adult GEM for this week quotes President Monson's latest General Conference talk and reminds me that I need to overcome my selfish desires, especially during this season, in order to find true joy and happiness in my life and brighten those lives around me.
The Savior taught His disciples, ‘For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.’ I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.”
I keep a picture of Christ in my room of him washing the feet of the twelve apostles, which helps me to remember we are here to serve others as the Master did.

Returning to the first thought, President Monson provided three pieces of our treasure map to guide us to our personal 'treasure'. The treasure the Lord taught of is the great Joy here on earth and eternal happiness hereafter. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven... For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." What treasure will I invest in today this Christmas season?


Sarah said...

That's a nice post Daniel. Thanks for sharing :)

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