Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

It seems like around our place, no matter how hard we try to keep the Christmas ‘stuff’ in plain sight at the front of the storage shelf, it always gets pushed all the way to the back. I mean, way back there behind tons of other stuff accumulated in the past year. So, it’s grab the step ladder and start climbin’.

While I was diggin’ through that mountain to retrieve all the ornaments, decorations, lights, wrapping paper, bows, and gift bags, from their hiding place, er, storage shelf,  in the garage, several questions were runnin’ through my mind. And, yes, before you say it, they had plenty of runnin’ room!

But the main thought was this. How can we keep a year’s worth of stuff from pushing the Christmas stuff to the back of the shelf? Well, hello! About that time another thought stepped on that one like an elephant stepping on a gnat. And this one has a far deeper impact than just finding our boxes of decorations. 

How can we keep the Christ of Christ-mas from being pushed to the back of the ‘shelf’ by twelve months of all that other ‘stuff’ that the world dumps into the garage of our minds?

And then I saw the Light! I did. I really did. I saw the answer right there in front of my eyes. IT was something that used to be in plain sight in our house every day of the year. But IT had become misplaced by all the packing and un-packing around our place. I even thought that IT might have been sold at the YSOTC (yard sale of the century).

But, Praise The Lord! There IT was. Helen had found IT and IT was back in its rightful place. Right there in front of our eyes where we can see IT every day! And, I promise you, IT won’t get packed up and pushed to the back of the shelf after Christmas this year!

IT is something so small that I can hold IT in the palm of my hand. But, more importantly, the meaning of IT is so big that I need to keep IT in my mind all the time. What is IT? I thought you’d never ask!

IT is just a little figurine that shows Santa Claus on his knees. Why is he on his knees? The answer to that question is as big as a mountain. And, this is just me talking, but I believe IT is the answer to all of the world’s problems. And here IT is!

Santa is on his knees reverently admiring and adoring the baby Jesus in His manger. Telling all who will listen that Santa Claus is not the most important part of Christmas. It’s the Baby lying on the hay in the animals’ feed trough that can save the world, not Santa Claus.

So, I have a suggestion. Actually it’s two suggestions. First, don’t let Christmas pass without hearing these words. “and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped Him in swaddlin’ clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7).

My second suggestion is that we make ‘room’ for Jesus in our hearts and our lives by keeping Him on the ‘front shelf’ of our minds every day of the year. How can we do that? Our little ‘kneeling Santa’ figurine does it for me. Maybe there’s some Christ-mas ornament that you can leave out all year that will be a daily reminder to keep Christ in Christ-mas. Or maybe you can find a plaque or cross-stitch with Luke’s words to hang on your wall. Or how ‘bout a picture frame for your desk with these words….

          Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head; the stars in the sky looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

          The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes. I love thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky and stay by my side until morning is nigh.

          Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray. Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven, to live with thee there.

I pray that not a single one of us can get that song out of our head for the next 365 days.